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Deep Sounding (Tales of the Dwarfs) [Kindle Edition]

Brandon Carbaugh , Jordan Erb
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.00

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Burning Down George Orwell's House
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Book Description

This world is not fit for living.

Evidently, no one told the dwarfs.


The surface of the world is a mountainous waste. Extreme weather and seasons of total darkness have destroyed most life above ground.

But beneath the earth, one people survive: The dwarfs, who live inside the mountains, have mastered the task of carving out life in a world which does its best to destroy them. Every dwarf has work, all work is critical, and it is only by working together that each mountain--and the greater Ranges they support--can continue to exist.

Those who violate this understanding are removed from the equation: they are exiled aboveground, to earn their survival alone. The more heinous the crime, the longer the sentence. Even worse, exiles are only readmitted while the bells of a yearly celebration, the Deepsound, are still ringing. Miss your bells, and your sentence repeats. It's a punishment so severe that its chief purpose is prevention, for no dwarf can survive it very long.

No dwarf, that is, except Bardan. Cast out of the borough of Whitemount for a crime since forgotten, Bardan faced a sentence so lengthy that most declared him dead before the door had closed behind him.

But they were wrong.

For like dwarfdom itself, the old General was built to adapt -- and for over forty years, Bardan has carved himself a life above the ground. But his body is failing. His mind is going gray. The ghosts of old evils are finally closing in.

Bardan's time is up . . . and his bells are running out.


This book is a collection of two conjoined novellas.

FIFTY CENTS OF EVERY SALE will go to the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation, a non-profit organization which helps families affected by epilepsy to obtain crucial resources like seizure alert and response dogs.

Editorial Reviews


from 'round the blogosphere
   "...a welcomed breath of fresh air I didn't know I needed."
   My Cardboard Castle
   "[This] novel breathes comedy."
   Think Positive, Think Write
   "Delicious.  Terry Pratchett, eat your heart out."
   The Best Slice of Pie
from Amazon readers
   " enigma that pierces the blood-brain barrier and makes me woozy."
   -- JTH
   "...achieves a level of mastery that I would not expect from a first time, self-published writer."
   -- A. Green
   "[Carbaugh] reminds me again that indie authors can indeed be relied upon to bring fresh eyes, and a fresh perspective, to dusty genres."
   -- joshuahyoung
   "Refuses to be put down."
   -- Gerald Burd
   "I didn't understand the plot ... I quit halfway through."
   -- Anonymous Amazon Customer

Product Details

  • File Size: 2143 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,993 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh take on a genre rapidly becoming stale November 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You open a fantasy novel, you generally know what to expect. Even the big name authors tend to rely on established stereotypes and themes. So it was I approached "Deep Sounding" with something of a lackadaisical attitude, expecting to find myself switching out and adding it to my ever growing Collection of indie novella named: "Oh god, what?" before I'd even finished the first paragraph. Yet it was with great delight that I found myself finishing off the first part in one sitting while thinking "I can't believe it's that good." and now, having just finished the latter section I feel that not only is it *that* good - it's even better than that.

I see good things in the future for Brandon Carbaugh, and recommend this book heartily. It reminds me again that Indie Authors can indeed be relied upon to bring fresh eyes - and a fresh perspective - to dusty genres, and that Indie Authors can be relied upon to keep me enthralled until 4:30am.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dwarf psychology and humor marry for a grand tale October 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rounding out a character is a challenge to begin with, rounding out not one dwarf but multiple dwarves and a bear to make them interesting enough to make you not only want to keep reading but invest in the characters is a much bigger mountain to build. I'm not going into a page by page plot break down. I enjoy a large variety of books and have a few hundred on my kindle waiting to be read. I started this one and enjoyed it so much with out-loud chuckles and white knuckle page turns that without a single moment of hesitation I would buy a full length novel of this story. 5 stars and high 5, any fantasy genre fan is going to be entranced and charmed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds Expectations November 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At a cursory glance, Deep Sounding's premise sounds a little well-worn. There's a plethora of fantasy novels on bookshelves today that explore the identities of the common fantasy races- Orcs, Elves, and yes, even Dwarves. This, however, is far from another rote-recital of a fictional species' history and customs. Carbaugh's book manages to give a glimpse into a fantasy culture that, while undeniably bleak, is flecked throughout with good humour and the genuine joy that springs forth from little triumphs. The minutiae of Dwarven life are conveyed through well-wrought, sympathetic (if a wee bit mad) characters, and the whole thing feels Alive.
There are a few small points where the dialogue seems jaunty or the sentences seem a bit stilted, but overall, Deep Sounding is an exceptional light read in a genre that's often bereft of quality stories with which to while away the small hours.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now every bell in Whitemount is ringing. August 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The author, Brandon Carbaugh, has developed a strange, remote world. Above ground is a bleak, isolated environment, where every moment of your existence is spent struggling to survive. Below ground is a rich, rewarding life, where everyone has a purpose and works for the betterment of society.

Barden is above ground, sentenced for his crimes to spend fifty years of his life banished from society. No one can survive above ground for any length of time, so he's sent to die. But, he survives, working hard, living one day at a time. Silva Ruck lives below ground with her father and siblings. She's unhappy with her life because she hates working in the mines, in fact she hates working at all. She can't imagine trudging through life, spending her time working every day.

There are some really insightful scenes in this book, including an encounter between Silva and her boss. When Silva tries to get her job back, her boss tells her, "Give me 5 minutes of good work." Hours later, Silva learns an important lesson; "Doing it right once is easy, doing it right a thousand times in a row, that's a hell of a trick!" Silva's outlook is completely changed. She learns that no matter what you do, no matter how trivial it seems, to do your very best and take pride in your work.

Why was Barden sent above ground to die, and how did Silva's mother die? Carbaugh did a great job tying the story together very nicely at the end. This is a well-written, exciting story, with interesting characters and a plot that kept me engaged.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written July 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I was a student at Clarion there was another aspiring writer there who could really write. His sentences would melt in your mouth, not in your hand. His paragraphs were like watching a Key West sunset. The stories, ehh, not so much. But, man, he could really write.

Mr. Carbaugh can really write.

Now, with the caveat that it's his story and he can do what he wants, let me point out what were, for me, the ehh, not so much moments.

If you are going to write about the much explored fantasy races (elf, dwarf, orc, whatever) you have to anticipate that your readers are approaching the story with a set of expectations. The author is not bound to adhere to or meet those expectations.

BUT. If he does not, then he must forewarn the reader. You can't suddenly dump a dwarf into a lava flow and then do an: "Oh by the way, he's fireproof." Tell me before hand and all is well.

Next, weight. 400 lbs with 0% body fat. After a 49 year starvation diet. Then goes out and does a full day of hard labor on 2 teaspoons of honey and some bug paste. Not possible and not critical to the story. He can still endure hardship, but at least make it realistic. (Which is also a problem with them riding the bear up the mountain -- weight vs energy expended vs energy available, they're dead at the bottom of the hill).

Story #2 nice slice of life with a moral. Liked it. Great. Then tried to tie it in with story #1. Boom, on it's face and not necessary. We were good, no more needed.

Despite the above the book is worth reading, if for no other reason, than to be able to say I read him when ...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I really enjoy books like this. Seems to take you away for a while. Only problem is, it ended too soon. Author is a very talented writer. Hope he writes a sequel.
Published 7 months ago by mema0000
3.0 out of 5 stars Deep Sounding an interesting read.
I found this book to be disconcerting at the start. The further I got the more interesting it became. Read more
Published 8 months ago by S. Boberg
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I didn't understand the plot line, I quit halfway through.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars worth the read
A well written story both comical and thought provoking. I recommend it to my friends and I recommend it you you.
Published 8 months ago by Sinister Sweetheart
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Type of "Dwarf" Story
When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a fantasy story. Turns out its not. I look forward to reading more stories in this universe.
Published 9 months ago by The Last Centurion
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick read
I enjoyed the story and the characters. If you look between the lines there is also a moral and a lesson to learn. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dicksi L. Metcalf
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit too "off" for me! The theme could ...
A bit too "off" for me! The theme could be turned into a interesting story, but it wasn't. The persons and the ambience are described very superficially, there is no... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Doris
4.0 out of 5 stars Bretty Good.
This story was a fun, light read. The take on dwarves is just close enough to familiarity that it was easy to understand, but far enough from established norms that they become... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jeremy Eliassen
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh
good for a free book, a fun quick read. that said, not a must read. give it a shot, and enjoy it for what it is.
Published 10 months ago by J. Hinde
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting with potential
When a book refuses to be put down, how else can it be rated but with five stars? The potential for trilogy status is obvious. Read more
Published 10 months ago by gerald burd
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More About the Author

Brandon Carbaugh is an author, editor, ghostwriter, screenwriter, heavyweight boxer, astronaut, gladiator, Power Ranger, Dúnedain Rider, humanoid typhoon, and space cowboy. He lives in Swampass, Pennsyltucky.

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