characterisation timeline

  • First music lesson

    intital meeting between paul cribbe and hellen keller in their first music lesson
  • Called a nazi

    Paul becomes very frustrated with kellers style of teaching and lashes out by calling keller a nazi.
  • awakening

    Paul tells his parents about kellers history and his relationship to other musicicans and his direct descendant of a great maestro
  • Period: to


  • Sexual relationship

    paul falls in love with meagan and this is when the life of paul cribbe changes drastically, his sexual life blossoms.
  • experience

    kellers speaks about his holoccaust experience for the first time and has large affects on paul
  • vacation

    Paul and his family go on vacation to adelaide and paul becomes very interested in the history of keller, he also runs into a couple in the library which shapes his sexual opinions
  • rosie

    Rosie moves to darwin and is attracted towards paul and sits with him during lunchtime in the music room
  • kellers scrapbook

    Paul sneaks a look at Keller’s scrapbook of clippings
    from the newspapers.
  • The concert in the Botanical Gardens.

    Paul’s parents organise a performance by the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra. Keller arrives very drunk and Paul’s parents invite him to sit with them.
  • Paul plays music with the bullies.

    The bullies, Pappas, Mitchell and Lim
    have formed a band ‘Rough Stuff’. They try to throw Paul and Rosie out of the school music room, but Paul demonstrates his musical usefulness to them (they have no musical talent whatsoever).
  • Paul’s first sexual experience

    Paul makes love to Megan Murray who he
    finds limited as a partner.
  • The Northern Territory ‘Battle of the Sounds’.

    Rough Stuff wins the Battle of the Sounds and the prize of a trip to Adelaide
  • Paul is going to Adelaide

    Keller enters him in a piano competition. Keller
    goes with him as his accompanist.
  • The Rock Band and Piano Competitions.

    Even as they wait to go on
    stage, Paul realises that this will be the last time he plays with Rough Stuff.
    He has chosen Keller’s musical world.
  • Keller goes to dinner at Paul’s house.

    Keller and Paul have returned to Darwin. Keller has started drinking again and Paul decides what to do after he leaves school.
  • The first nostalgic interlude.

    Paul fills in information about what happens to characters over the years immediately after he leaves Darwin.
  • The second nostalgic interlude.

    Paul is performing overseas, still nursing his ambitions.
  • Paul searches for the real Keller.

    While travelling in Austria, Paul remembers the last conversation with Keller and begins to piece together the fragments of Keller’s life.
  • Paul visits Henisch.

    Henisch tells Paul that Keller played for the Nazis in
    1938 and what happened to Mathilde and Eric. He believes Keller is dead
    because he was imprisoned in Auschwitz.
  • Keller’s death.

    Paul sits with the dying Keller. The novel ends with a
    nostalgic yearning for the past.