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Aleks Matza
The Lost Chord
Aleks Matza, author
Can a man with little more than a bicycle and books reclaim the passions of his life through the memories of his past? The Lost Chord, an 82,000 word novel with alternating storylines set thirty years apart, tells the story of Dmitri, a pianist and composer, Ekaterina (a violist) and the Narrator (French horn) whose lives in 1980s Chicago center around their love for classical music, high-spirited competitions and eclectic debates. Interspersed throughout the novel are meditative recollections of the city by the Narrator, whose present life is defined by terrible loss, a devastating illness and a chance to start again. In his search for resolution, the lost chord of his life, he must listen to the underground whispers of music beneath the years.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10


Plot: Matza tells a multilayered story from two POV narratives. The storylines appear disparate at first as one catalogues a carefree life while the other ruminates on contentment rediscovered after an attempted suicide. It’s only near the end that the two narratives are powerfully linked.

Prose: Eloquent and evocative prose combines with dialogue so natural that readers may feel as though they are silent observers within the story.

Originality: Matza takes risks with the unconventional narrative structure, which ultimately results in a unique and innovative story.

Character Development: Although the narrator remains a shadowy figure throughout, Matza manages to convey a strong sense of growth and dimension through the separate stories. The structure keeps the reader guessing as to whether the two central characters are truly the same person. Dialogue and description provide a vivid understanding of secondary characters.

Date Submitted: April 11, 2018