Who Knew? by Robert A. Cutietta

Challenge 19 ~ “A non-fiction book.”


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I may have listened to classical music and tried my hand at playing it, but I am certainly no expert (as this book undoubtedly proved). True to its title, I discovered several questions that had (subconsciously) bugged me for years, but I’d never really thought to investigate or ask. That was on top of those that I’d always wanted to ask. And who do you ask – where does one find an expert on classical music as a concept, rather than simply a performer, composer or conductor? Who Knew offers a succinct and (largely) entertaining Bible-of-sorts for classical music that is accessible to even the least musically informed.

Cutietta was clearly well-informed on the topics addressed, and divided the questions into logical and bite-size chapters by topic. These were introduced with a short informative background that helped make the book accessible to all, and the questions presented such that they built on one another to assemble a complete picture. It is important to note, however, that there were a couple of times Cutietta mentioned not knowing an answer, but effort was not made to seek someone who did (or if it had, this had not been passed onto the reader).

Bite-sized chapters, accessible introductions and comprehensible language – what else does anyone want from a book like this? Well, personally, I’d have appreciated a better title. The way I see it, Who Knew, is a musical take on the string of scientific books that have been published in recent years (such as ‘Does Anything Eat Wasps?’). Several questions addressed could easily have created a catchy title, or at least something catchier than ‘Who Knew‘! In all other aspects, however, Who Knew is a needed compendium of classical music knowledge for the average Joe Muggins.

Recommended for fans of:

  • Why Don’t Penguins Feet Freeze? by Mick O’Hare
  • Bring Me Sunshine by Charlie Connelly
  • Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv


Received from NetGallery in return for a full, honest review.


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