Having just finished the book, the first expression that comes to mind is 'WHOA". Daniel Mason can write !! The manner in which the book brings alive the journey of the protagonist Edgar Drake (a Piano tuner who is commissioned to tune a Piano in Burma) from London to the Shan hills in Burma is classic stuff. The treatment is mystical and exotic to say the least. The author is clearly well travelled and the initial impression of the stereotype seemed almost laughable when I finished the book.
I am still amazed that this is a first book by a 26 year old. His style of writing is a bit like Ishiguro, where the literary content of the prose is matched only by the intrigue and mystery that the Novel manages to evoke in the reader. The mystery and a feeling of "what will happen next" starts right from the beginning when Edgar Drake after deciding to take the Journey to Burma pronounces, "and Burma is Far" till the last page of the book.
Overall a remarkable debut by a very promising young writer - Hurrah !