In this first-person account, a composer confronts cancer as well as an increasingly debilitating dementia that threatens to rob him of both his past and his present. In something of a last ditch effort he does his best to resurrect nearly forgotten loves as well as the music of the greats that once sustained him. In the process he finds the past no less difficult to deal with than his present and is forced to confront a most unflattering image of himself. The crisp yet lyrical writing is crisp yet lyrical and alternates between staccato and legato depending on the particular stages of the composer's illness. The Hamlet-like narrator is at once dangerously close and forbiddingly distant from the reader with a climax in death's full assault with hitherto hidden revelations.