Naked on the Bench by Robin Spielberg

Naked on the Bench

My Adventures in Pianoland

KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut memoir of one woman’s quest to become a successful concert pianist, and the setbacks and triumphs she meets along the way.

As an energetic toddler brimming with creativity, Spielberg was left to play in a closed room for hours into the night. However, what her parents mistook for hyperactivity was, in fact, the budding of a musical prodigy. In this memoir, the author chronicles a series of events from her first touch of a piano key to her later multi-album success. She highlights the highs and lows of an artist journeying toward a career in music and doesn’t leave out personal mistakes or humiliating moments. In one chapter, she misjudges a friend’s verbal support and subsequently blasts an email with his endorsement to her fans. In another, she meets a man whom she confused for a fellow artist, who later became a stalker and scorned antagonist. These darker moments balance the book’s predominantly positive mood and give the story complexity, depth and a bit of relatable, raw reality. Spielberg’s commitment to straightforward storytelling allows her to avoid the sentimentality sometimes found in other memoirs. She allows events to speak for themselves, and the book reads like a series of episodes—a well-paced, readable collection of anecdotes that delicately leaves gaps of time between its chapters. Although an artist must appear flawless when onstage, the lifetime preceding that moment is anything but unblemished, and Spielberg reveals the perseverance, humility and self-awareness it takes to become a successful artist without becoming self-centered. Indeed, the author discovers that success in art means making an impact on an audience.

A well-paced musical memoir about the value of perseverance.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-0970563354
Page count: 357pp
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:




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