"Did music save Paul Cassidy's life? Possibly.
In his memoir of a childhood in 1970s Derry, the author recounts stories that are often hilarious, sometimes tragic, and occasionally terrifying. It's a miracle he lived to tell the tales, and also surprising that the impetuous youth who so vividly leaps out of these pages should have turned out to be a musician of
rare wisdom and poise"
Andrew Ford ABC Music Show
"This memoir is astonishing! A young man growing up, witnessing and experiencing so many varied aspects of life and offering deep insight into them all. From early hospitalisation to childhood exploits to war in seventies Northern Ireland and out the other end to a life amongst the hierarchy of the classical music world. All given a heartfelt but fun account, at times absolutely hilarious.
by L. Tunney
"What a book!!! A real page-turner.
My wife and I were fighting over it...neither of us wanting to put it down.
It reads more like a gripping novel than a memoir. Really lived up to the hype. It's laugh-out-loud funny whilst being informative, sad and inspiring.
can't believe it's his only book. Get writing!!"
by Bill Drewe
"Had me gripped from the very beginning. From early life in Northern Ireland and paths that could have lead to a very different ending. To finding that passion and drive to follow your dreams, this book is very difficult to put down. A sometimes brutally honest account of a life, so far, lived to the full. Had me in tears one minute and laughing out loud the next.
One word sums it up for me. Bravo."
by J Cook
"COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!!
The atmosphere created through words in this epic novel is one I have never come across before. The authors language makes one feel like they're 'with' this character from start to finish; hearing, feeling, experiencing every emotion so beautifully described.
It's like a juicier, more complex Billy Elliot! This wee boy overcomes so many more challenges, and the notable topics covered are endless, meaning most audiences could relate to the story at one point or another.
I've been recommending it to anyone I happen to strike up a conversation with and am so pleased to have chanced upon this stunning piece of literary art. Just buy it and thank me later."
by Hally Brown
"Get Beethoven! is a delightful, little memoir about the musician Paul Cassidy's life.
This book is fun and spunky and far more intriguing than I expected it to be! Memoirs aren't always fun, and instead educational, but this one stood out with quite the personality. Paul's tone in this is highly amusing and kept me pulled in and entertained. This is how biographies should be written - with a fun, loud voice that pulls you in and keeps you there.
I had heard of Paul Cassidy before but didn't know much about him, so I truly enjoyed grabbing this book! If you like non-fiction, biographies or music then grab this book!"
Highlights Magazine, Editor's Pick :
"Memoirs are often considered to be a Marmite read - readers either devour them by the armful or they stay far away (these days an appropriate two metres!).
I happen to enjoy a well-written memoir, so it was with some delight that I sat down at seven p.m on a Friday evening and picked up Brodsky Quartet musician Paul Cassidy’s memoir “Get Beethoven!” and read the final page as the clock chimed a new day. While I had expected to be interested in the ‘plot’, a young lad growing up in turbulent 70s/70s Northern Ireland finding his way to fortune, I hadn’t expected to be engrossed in a story that takes the reader from the oppression and sadness to triumph, joy and freedom.
For me it had shades of Billy Elliot, the creative boy searching for a way out and up, and as a reader, I found myself rooting for this character, even as I knew he did find his way to London to join the incredibly successful Brodsky Quartet.
We begin with Paul’s childhood, and what a childhood it was. What I thought was interesting was the Paul didn’t shy away from calling a spade a spade in his descriptions of growing up in Northern Ireland, how the system, ethics and general thinking of the people affected him and how his need for escape brewed like a pot ready to boil over. The atmosphere created with language is superb, taking you to the streets of Derry, facing it all alongside him.
While I was fascinated by this insight into Northern Ireland, it was by no means all darkness and sorrow. There is a fantastic amount of humour in this book, so much so that I found myself more than once laughing out loud. I think that is one of the reasons you root for Paul to succeed.
An excellent read brimming with trials, torments and triumphs, and not just for memoir-lovers. Anybody who enjoys the qualities that make a terrific story will find themselves gripped by this exceptional book from first page to last. Highly recommended. "
by Jonathan White
""Derry Girls" meets "Composer of the Week" by way of "Young Werther" in this candid, funny, inspiring story. Give your Netflix and Prime a rest for a few hours - get a vibrant slice of life in this memoir of one enterprising, open-eyed man's youthful adventures on the way to a lifetime in music ... you'll not regret the investment."
by Dermot McCauley
"This book got me hooked because of its passion, openness and clarity. This alone seems to be already a merit, but one has to consider this within the history of Northern Ireland, with its burden of oppression, religion, hypocrisy and violence! This ‘medieval’ history which had infected the whole society did not just surround the young Paul Cassidy, it still lingers on, under the surface of nowadays.
What thrilled me was the little boy Paul: his awareness of the surrounding „evils“, the lack or distortion of ethics, whether in the education system, religious institutions or in families, where children's „healthy“ development depends on.
This book shows so clearly what a little soul needs for escape: the inner strength of his own conviction. His awareness of what was right or wrong, this was his only guideline as well as his core! And with a bit of luck, he takes any chance to meet the people who might support him further on a way along his own conviction like respect, fairness and love and joy - without fear!
Furthermore this burning passion the little boy found in music - which led him into an incredible career - was nothing else but the hook not to be hindered by trivialities :
the deep engagement with music fulfilled him endlessly; and the price of hardship within somehow was part of it going forward. The lifelong strife to improve inherited the reward: satisfaction in pursuit of his own goal.
This book should be read at every school in Northern Ireland as it is a history book kids won’t reject. This is a book, like Salinger's „the catcher in the rye“, which will catch kid’s attention as it speaks their language. The anger of youngsters is brilliantly addressed.
It does not end in destruction or boredom, rather shows ways out of the trap of social conformity by brave decision making. Decisions which might have several consequences but can create freedom - fearless: back to love and joy, respect and fairness, dignity!
Well done, Paul Cassidy! Hope you will find time to read the book in public. The public should hear your words!"
by K. Kobermann
"Fascinating on so many levels. Very funny & a tribute to achievement in face of a life of challenges.. Brilliant read & had me in stitches. Thankyou x"