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The Ensemble

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
"Pitch-perfect." —People

"You won’t be able to quit these characters." —goop

The addictive novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of classical music and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives.


Jana. Brit. Daniel. Henry. They would never have been friends if they hadn't needed each other. They would never have found each other except for the art which drew them together. They would never have become family without their love for the music, for each other.

Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; on the viola is Henry, a prodigy who's always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest and an angry skeptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness Quartet. After the group's youthful, rocky start, they experience devastating failure and wild success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty. They are always tied to each other - by career, by the intensity of their art, by the secrets they carry, by choosing each other over and over again.

Following these four unforgettable characters, Aja Gabel's debut novel gives a riveting look into the high-stakes, cutthroat world of musicians, and of lives made in concert. The story of Brit and Henry and Daniel and Jana, The Ensemble is a heart-skipping portrait of ambition, friendship, and the tenderness of youth.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"I often admire novels that are platforms for their writers' own stories, upon which their own singular character, with its own singular history, is carefully incised. This, however, is a novel of a different, more expansive, and altogether more electrifying kind. Aja Gabel contains at least four complete human beings inside her, and I'm guessing countless others. She knows these people down to their cells, and she gives all of herself to them." - Kevin Brockmeier

"Sweeping, romantic, elegiac, The Ensemble gives you the feeling of being inside the music of a quartet, a look into the relationships under the music, the love and heartbreak, set against their ruthless commitment to both their art, and to each other. Aja Gabel is a phenomenon." - Alexander Chee

"The Ensemble deserves a standing ovation. A gripping tale of four musician's journeys through discord and harmony, life and love. Aja Gabel is a brilliant young writer with the rare gift of an old soul." - Mat Johnson

"Aja Gabel's powerful debut offers a sensitive portrait of four young musicians forging their paths through life: sometimes at odds with each other, sometimes in harmony, but always inextricably linked by their shared pasts." - Celeste Ng

"With uncommon clarity and empathy, Aja Gabel brings us inside the passionate, complex, and sometimes cutthroat intimacy that exists among the four members of a string quartet. A wise and powerful novel about love, life, and music. I didn't want it to end." - Maggie Shipstead


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Used availability for Aja Gabel's The Ensemble

Hardback Editions

August 2018 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Ensemble (Thorndike Press Large Print Reviewers' Choice)
Author(s): Aja Gabel
ISBN: 1-4328-5577-8 / 978-1-4328-5577-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


May 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Ensemble: A Novel
Author(s): Aja Gabel
ISBN: 0-7352-1476-X / 978-0-7352-1476-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

June 2019 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Ensemble: A Novel
Author(s): Aja Gabel
ISBN: 0-7352-1477-8 / 978-0-7352-1477-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


May 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Ensemble: A Novel
Author(s): Aja Gabel
ISBN: 0-525-53507-1 / 978-0-525-53507-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Riverhead
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

May 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Ensemble: A Novel
Author(s): Aja Gabel
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon   


May 2018 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Ensemble: A Novel
Author(s): Aja Gabel
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon AU   


May 2018 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Ensemble: A Novel
Author(s): Aja Gabel
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


May 2018 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Ensemble: A Novel
Author(s): Aja Gabel
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

May 2018 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Ensemble: A Novel
Author(s): Aja Gabel
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU