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Three very different men struggle with thoughts of belonging, loss, identity and love as they attempt to find a place for themselves in Britain. The Magistrate tries to create new memories and roots, fusing a wandering exploration of Edinburgh with music. The Maestro, a depressed, quixotic character, sinks out of the real world into the fantastic world of literature. The MThree very different men struggle with thoughts of belonging, loss, identity and love as they attempt to find a place for themselves in Britain. The Magistrate tries to create new memories and roots, fusing a wandering exploration of Edinburgh with music. The Maestro, a depressed, quixotic character, sinks out of the real world into the fantastic world of literature. The Mathematician, full of youth, follows a carefree, hedonistic lifestyle, until their three universes collide....

Title : The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781910901045
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 250 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician Reviews

  • Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
    2018-09-24 10:21

    I have to get a disclaimer out of the way at the very beginning. The author, Tendai Huchu, has a very special place in my heart as he was the first author to trust me with his book when I was just starting out with my blog about three years back. But I will try to be fair and impartial with my review.I had thoroughly enjoyed Mr.Huchu’s first two works of fiction – An Untimely Love and The Hairdresser of Harare – especially the second one. So I was equal parts excited and equal parts nervous to pick up his book. On one hand, with his track record certain qualities were guaranteed and on the other hand I was apprehensive – what if I didn’t like this enough. After procrastinating for as long as I could, I finally picked the book up and finished it in one sitting.Just as the name suggests, the story revolves around three central characters – the Maestro, the Magistrate and the Mathematician. These three people are far away from their homeland, Zimbabwe and are struggling with the sense of loss and their identity. They are trying to make a new life for themselves and find that feeling of belonging. As their stories overlap, the readers are in for a surprise. The plot is interesting and well planned out. It was really easy to get into the minds of the characters as they developed through the author’s gratifying narration style. And so, it was easy to follow them closely and often empathize with them especially when each of them was trying to find some sort of balance in their lives. They are such unique individuals that they each bring something different and flavorful to the story.One thing I have come to realize about the author is the fact that he writes about things he knows well. And thus, it is easy for the reader to get into the thick of things while reading his books. Also, there is this underlying factor of culture that is so rich and vibrant that it is practically impossible not to fall in love with the stories. This book provided me with few hours of pure entertainment and I would recommend you to give it a try!

  • David Kenvyn
    2018-09-22 06:19

    Tendai Huchu is a remarkable, perceptive and engaging writer. This is a seemingly aimless story about Zimbabwean exiles/expatriates living in Edinburgh at the beginning of the 21st century. There is however nothing aimless about this story as it is brought together by the surprise at the end. It is the story of three Zimbabwean men, two black and one white, struggling to come to terms with living in Edinburgh, an alien city in a cold climate. It is the story of them, their families and friends, their everyday lives, and how their culture is at odds with the culture around them. It is a story of assimilation and of their failure to achieve assimilation. But it is also a story of Zimbabwe, of why they are here and why they cannot go back.Farai, the mathematician, who is in Edinburgh studying for a Ph.D. is the most likely to settle in the city. The Maestro, who is named David, is the most disconnected, losing his grasp of reality. The Magistrate, who we only know as Baba Chenai (Chenai's Dad) or as Sekuru VaRuvarashe (Ruvarashe's grandfather) when Chenai has a baby, is dissatisfied with his existence, bored by the menial jobs he has in exile when he was a judge at home. The events of the story bring them together, in a way which you will not foresee. This is a book that will make you think about what colonialism has done to Africa, but more than that, it will make you think about the nature of government, of how we relate to each other, and of our responsibility for the world in which we live.This is an extraordinary book.

  • Pammycats
    2018-10-12 05:36

    The Maestro, the Magistrate, and the Mathematician by Tendai HuchuI received an early review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.I really loved this book. The characters and plot are swirling around in my brain and I know I will need to read this book again. Now, pen to paper as I try to tame all my thoughts about this story.PLOTThe plot centers around three main characters. They are transplants from Zimbabwe in Scotland and are each struggling, in their own ways, to find a way to belong. The three story lines start out separately and then overlap in interesting and surprising ways. The narrator's voice at first reminded me of Alexander MCCall Smith - slow and rhythmic centering around word dense but interesting conversations. It was so easy to just relax into the flow of this book. I immediately was in touch with this moment in each character's life. The book starts at a pivotal moment in time for each person and then, over the course of the book, we hear parts of their back story. The ending was intriguing but I don't want to spoil it by saying moreCHARACTERSThis is the best sort of story in that the plot is driven by the lives and conversations of the characters. As mentioned earlier, we enter the book at a pivotal point. Each person has been dealing with assimilation and now they are facing personal challenges that will change their shapes and mold them powerfully. We are immersed in their Zimbabwe culture as well as their new life in Scotland. These two cultures bang violently against each but eventually find a way to merge. This author is also very tactile with his characters. They experience life viscerally. For example, one character is mapping his Scottish city using music from Zimbabwe to mark each spot in his mind. I did not recognize the artists but found myself mesmerized by his descriptions of the life conveyed in the songs. Really rich imagery.My only complaint about the book is that the ending feels like a major change in tone. However, I cannot get the ending out of my head. I've been thinking about it for two days now. Does the tone shift rotate our view from Scotland to seeing things from the perspective of Zimbabwe? I don't know, it just has me thinking. In conclusion, the book isn't perfect. The people in the book are flawed and even often unsympathetic but they are people to me. Thank you for a chance to read and review this book!Pemmycats

  • Bookmuseuk
    2018-09-26 05:14

    The stories of three Zimbabwean men in Edinburgh is intriguing and unusual. The Magistrate used to dispense justice back home. Here, he cleans the toilet. The Mathematician makes money and indulges himself in the belief he won’t be here for long. The Maestro collects shopping trollies in Tesco’s car park and reads. The three men’s lives intersect and cross, meeting the challenges of a different culture with varying measures of success.This book is rounded, measured and smart, and anything but a miserable tale of immigrant isolation. Intelligence and thought shine off the page via these layered and introspective characters. Farai’s casual sexism and judgemental views are offset by his willingness to engage with the old man in the café. The Magistrate’s adaptation to his changed circumstances is beautifully encapsulated in his memories of the maid. The Maestro’s gradual retreat from the world in search of meaning in books is slow, heart-breaking and completely plausible.Whilst the main characters are more than enough to grip your attention, the supporting cast add still more light, shade and laughter. Alfonso, the rodent Del Boy alcoholic, is infuriating and hilarious at once. Tatyana, the Maestro’s Polish friend who would be more, is alternately invasive and vulnerable. One of the most powerful personalities in the book is Edinburgh itself. Huchu uses the city to the full: its people, its architecture, its humour.The bittersweet ending left me sorry to leave these people and this place, but curious to read more by this talented, sly and unpredictable writer. Tendai Huchu is one to watch.

  • Tracy Terry
    2018-10-04 11:15

    Revolving around three different characters, all from Zimbabwe, all far from their homeland, all facing their own challenges, their individual stories entwining as the novel progresses.Though set in Edinburgh - its landmarks ingeniously mapped out by the author courtesy of the music played through The Magistrate's Walkman - The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician also lends itself to an insight into the politics and economics of a not too distant Zimbabwe.A very human story that isn't afraid to deal with issues both big and small. For me the most memorable (and perhaps poignant) being the case of 'The Magistrate' in which the reader gets to consider a man, a 'somebody' in the land he left behind, reduced to a life of housework and 'menial jobs' in his adopted home.Amongst the best novels about migrants and the plights that they face that I have read. The only concern I have (small though it may be) being that the characters were each written in a very different style which though great as a means of setting them apart as individuals somehow just didn't work well for me.Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper.Disclaimer: Received for review from the author, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.

  • Anetq
    2018-10-02 06:23

    I was thoroughly disappointed by this, I have to say. I loved the Hairdresser and it's characters, so I was expecting something good from Huchu.What I got was a bunch of fairly useless men doing very little and to some extent waiting for women to save them. Not entertaining in any way. The three narrators of the title are mostly not very likeable (the magistrate is okay), and that make me not care what happens to them - when anything does happen, there is a lot of not-happening waste of life (though very verbose!), maybe if this had been cut down to half the length it would have worked, and the sudden plot that turns up in the last 5 pages wouldn't have seemed like a strange attempt to twist the book into being about something other than men being lost?

  • Carolyne Gathuru
    2018-10-03 12:32

    Top marks for a rabbit-out-of-hat surprise ending. Who'd have thought anything else of Alfonso... The Maestro's death makes sense, what with his need for freedom and finally flying free, but the Mathematician's end makes no sense, doesn't tie into anything and feels abrupt and unplanned. This book is well written with the chapter dividers as the characters' separate stories that make for an interesting read. All good save for the fairy tale end for the Magistrate, and rather odd end for the Mathematician.

  • Wim Schalenbourg
    2018-09-23 07:14

    Though I had some difficulty at getting into the story, I eventually got carried away by the different characters that all live their situation of being Zimbabwean immigrants in Edinburgh in their own way.The book is nicely written, full of Shona and Scottish culture and expressions, and contains some unexpected turns.

  • Mish Middelmann
    2018-09-26 09:24

    Angry. Sad. Hopeless. Young exiled Zimbabwean men in the UK in a downward spiral, bereft of meaning, dragged even further down by the rogue Zimbabwean state's tentacles. Older exiles still connecting to earth and sky and finding some balance through that.Overall I felt disappointed, it felt wordy, there was a blurring of humour and caricature and outrage that didn't work for me.

  • Liz
    2018-10-07 06:33

    This is a very different book from the engaging Hairdresser of Harare. The first chapter is from the point of view of ‘the Magistrate’, a reasonably sympathetic character but nothing really happens. Viewpoint then switches to a student. This is well done with a change of language and subject matter but I didn’t take to the student and decided not to read any further.

  • Gill
    2018-10-15 11:10

    A book that bumbles along pleasantly... with an ending that I really couldn't have predicted at all! Excellent.

  • Carlton
    2018-10-02 11:27

    Tough start, great ending!It takes time and effort to come to know, of care about the three main protagonists. By the time you do, the side characters strain the show.

  • Cherop
    2018-10-02 04:36

    This is the first novel I've read by Tendai Huchu. I enjoyed it a lot and will look for other books by the author.

  • JJ Marsh
    2018-10-02 07:13

    The stories of three Zimbabwean men in Edinburgh is intriguing and unusual. The Magistrate used to dispense justice back home. Here, he cleans the toilet. The Mathematician makes money and indulges himself in the belief he won’t be here for long. The Maestro collects shopping trollies in Tesco’s car park and reads. The three men’s lives intersect and cross, meeting the challenges of a different culture with varying measures of success.This book is rounded, measured and smart, and anything but a miserable tale of immigrant isolation. Intelligence and thought shine off the page via these layered and introspective characters. Farai’s casual sexism and judgemental views are offset by his willingness to engage with the old man in the café. The Magistrate’s adaptation to his changed circumstances is beautifully encapsulated in his memories of the maid. The Maestro’s gradual retreat from the world in search of meaning in books is slow, heart-breaking and completely plausible.Whilst the main characters are more than enough to grip your attention, the supporting cast add still more light, shade and laughter. Alfonso, the rodent Del Boy alcoholic, is infuriating and hilarious at once. Tatyana, the Maestro’s Polish friend who would be more, is alternately invasive and vulnerable. One of the most powerful personalities in the book is Edinburgh itself. Huchu uses the city to the full: its people, its architecture, its humour.The bittersweet ending left me sorry to leave these people and this place, but curious to read more by this talented, sly and unpredictable writer. Tendai Huchu is one to watch.

  • George
    2018-10-05 12:25

    I think Tendai Huchu’s a bit of a genius.This is the first novel I’ve read by Mr Huchu, though I had read two of his short stories (one appeared in a literary magazine I help edit). This novel is a rare beast: literary fiction that takes new risks, that feels very fresh. The risks are not overpowering, but they are there and noticeable, and they add to the reading experience: risks in form, expression, and plot direction. He seemingly writes without fear. For me, all the risks panned-out.The ending brings the story’s threads together in a very satisfying way, and yet the story doesn’t land where I thought it would. I immediately felt like re-reading the entire book.The story paints modern and unique situations -- it’s set in present-day Scotland, following the lives of immigrants from Zimbabwe -- and real, intelligent characters. At times, Tuchu is able to infuse significant humor into what’s going on. The story begins a bit slow, but by the end I was very much invested in all the characters and plot lines, and couldn’t stop turning pages (I finished at around 3am).True rating 4.5, but closer to a 5 than a 4.Last thing...a humble suggestion. Don’t choose to read this because it’s “African fiction;” this novel is simply great literary fiction, period, and should be considered alongside all the other great contemporary works.

  • Tiah
    2018-10-16 08:09

    Interview with the author: http://shortstorydayafrica.org/news/i...Quotes:- The tat came before the rat, though the a-tat remained in pretty much the same place, producing a distorted, yet familiar sound, but the Alfonso Pfukuto, the knocker, was an ambiguous man. - - This book, Boethius; masterpiece written when he was in prison, was one of those favourite texts he returned to time and again, hoping with each reading to unlearn the last and discover it anew. - - The natives gave directions using street names as if they were reading off maps, but how does one orient oneself without reference to a landmark in the environment? - - This was not the first time he had fallen in love with music as the backdrop. He could not tell whether it was music that made him fall in love or whether it had just been there at the time. - - They sit in the shade of Edinburgh's Shame. - - But, if there is one thing I've learnt in the last few years, it's that everyone needs a story. That's all our lives amount to, nothing but stories that we hope will live on after we are gone. -

  • Wade
    2018-09-20 11:10

    An intriguingly complex book about a variety of Zimbabweans living in Edinburgh.The novel tracks the experiences primarily of three men of different circumstances, the the various people connected with them. What starts as a rather straightforward stroll through their lives turns into, at different times: a political intrigue, a descent into madness, explorations of existential angst from multiple angles, a social commentary on youth, a postmodern romance, and a family drama. The author blends elements from multiple genres into a satisfying whole. His account spans a dizzying number of issues with a light and deft hand.It contains one of the best, though concise, descriptions of descent into homelessness I have read, and it deals accessibly with the complex discombobulation of emigration that throws class, gender, and race up in the air - recounting the stories of arbitrary (or not?) winners and losers.This is not exactly a beach read, although you can read it there. It gets a bit heavy in places, but the pace keeps moving in surprising directions.

  • Iain
    2018-10-11 07:29

    An important and powerful book set within the Zimbabwean diaspora in Edinburgh. The Mathematician is a numerical wizard and playboy doing his PhD on hyperinflation. The Magistrate is no longer a respected member of the judiciary. Where once he had maids, now he cleans up after others in a care home. The Maestro's existential crisis quickens, unravelling his mind. As their paths cross in the twisting Edinburgh streets, the churches and hospitals tragedy and betrayal are never far away.Migration can split a person. You never quite leave your homeland and you never fully settle in your new country. This novel sympathetically and honestly examines both sides of that divide in the context of the turbulent political situation in Zimbabwe and the increasingly xenophobic mood sweeping Britain after the economic crash. Tendai Huchu has not only written a wonderful novel showcasing his great literary skill, it is also a timely and uncompromising look at the social and political realities of contemporary existence.

  • Durre
    2018-10-13 04:11

    After the success of his debut, The Hairdresser of Harare (2010), Tendai Huchu’s second novel, The Maestro, The Magistrate and The Mathematician is a cleverly written, multi-layered narrative about the lives of three Zimbabwean men residing in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is set in the early-to-mid 2000s, with its characters following the political unrest in Zimbabwe under the Mugabe Regime, all the while mapping out new lives in Edinburgh.The chapters alternatively follow each character’s story; three different novellas are interweaved together. The Magistrate, a middle aged, once well-respected man of law, now trying to adjust to a new life in Edinburgh where his qualifications and titles mean little. While his wife has secured a job, the Magistrate remains without one, straining their relationship, all the while trying to come to terms with a teenage daughter growing up in an alien culture.Read the full review here: http://www.walesartsreview.org/the-ma...

  • Cheryl
    2018-09-24 12:11

    I loved Tendai Huchu's debut novel, The Hairdresser of Harare (which I also reviewed), which gave a great insight into life in the vibrant capital city of Zimbabwe and introduced us to some hilarious, endearing and memorable characters.The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician sticks with the Zimbabwean characters that the author knows so well but follows the trials and tribulations of the three unconnected men in their new lives in Edinburgh. Maybe it is a result of the grey skies and chilly climate of Scotland, or maybe it is due to the fact that they appear to be almost symbolic figures, given the book title and the chapter headings, but the trio all seem rather less vibrant and ultimately less appealing than the hairdressers of the previous novel.(Read the complete review on my blog : http://madhousefamilyreviews.blogspot...)

  • Dami Ajayi
    2018-10-16 09:16

    "This book deals with Zimbabwe, but Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the author himself currently resides. Through the eyes of three characters, who collectively lend their monikers to the book title, the immigrant experience is explored once again. The life of immigrants has been a fascinating topic for black writers from Samuel Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners down to Teju Cole’s Open City."Continue here, http://wawabookreview.com/2015/07/24/...

  • Rosemary Blake
    2018-09-17 09:29

    InterestingA pleasure to read (observations on small details that anchor you to the place). Interesting to share a cultural situation that I haven't experienced. Deep, there is a lot of food for thought in this book - allegories to be identified. But irritating when the author seems to divert into a brief essay on, for instance, musical influences. Jumps around a bit between characters.

  • Ruth
    2018-09-15 04:29

    I dunno what really to rate this book. There should be more than five stars so I can give a more balanced rating. Or more -- books should never be rated!!! Who knows, whatever. I like the voices, but some get tedious. It is beautiful and funny but also exhausting. The end is a little much for me, but I get it. I think this book should have been shorter.

  • Sansriti Tripathi
    2018-10-02 04:29

    Honestly LOVED this novel - Tendai Huchu does a wonderful job capturing the three men's different backgrounds and tones. The Magistrate's sections are a great mix of thoughtful, depressing, and uplifting. The Mathematician's are incredibly humorous, and the Maestro's provide the bulk of the novel's philosophical musings.

  • Alpha Lewis
    2018-10-01 10:21

    The Book focuses on three very different character acclimating to a new society. Fun read with interesting character development; I liked how they all eventually converge. The ending was unexpected, as a fan of conspiracy theories and global espionage, I enjoyed it.

  • Michelle D’costa
    2018-10-15 08:13

    https://michellewendydcosta.wordpress...