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The Echo Chamber: A Novel Hardcover – August 4, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (August 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670022837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670022830
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,306,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Beguiling, astonishing, rich Guardian Rich and resonant ... stuffed with stories, literary references and peculiar details, this beguiling novel is a work of astonishing synthesis Guardian Weaves a rich web of stories, while playfully questioning notions of truth, history, narrative, even the reliability of words Scotland on Sunday Read this novel aloud. Read it wearing earplugs. But read it, and notice its aural effect Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Luke Williams was born in 1977. He grew up in Fife, Scotland, and now divides his time between Edinburgh and London. The Echo Chamber is his first novel.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn A. Getchell TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THE ECHO CHAMBER is the story of Evie, her memoir, a complex patchwork quilt of colorful and richly textured scraps of memories and stories, stitched together with a variegated narrative thread of alluring metaphors, allegories and allusions.

In fact, the book is a metaphor in itself, echoing in allusion many other stories and writers, such as Gunter Grass and his THE TIN DRUM, Bruno Schulz and his THE STREET OF CROCODILES, Salman Rushdie and his MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN, and Robert Louis Stevenson from his 'From a Railway Carriage.' One will even "hear" echoes of the Ancient Mariner and Dr. Frankenstein. All are alluded to seamlessly in the narrative of an unique, melancholy heroine, a woman who "...must write. Set down on paper. Faithfully record my past before it becomes tinnitus and is lost. But how dreary. How dim and unnatural words are!"..."Reluctantly I write."

Evie Steppman was born in the tense, loud and cacophonous, dying days of the British Empire in Nigeria. Now she resides in Gullane, Scotland, a solitary woman in her late fifties, typing her autobiography on a laptop computer in a quiet, cluttered attic, an attic repository of memories which can metaphorically be considered a sort of echo chamber for her, a chamber where stories and histories resonate into a restless narrative. Her story, her personal history, begins with a chance encounter on a train between a man who would become her maternal grandfather and the man who would become her father.

Evie has a preternatural power of hearing which she first was made aware of in her mother's womb, Evie`s first echo chamber. Her auditory gift has made her an extraordinary listener, one who hears what others cannot. Evie hears through time and space and memory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nigel p bird on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I came across this by way of recommendation and am delighted I listened to those who shared their opinions with me.

The writing is beguiling. It has a rhythm, like a reassuring pulse, that means the density of the book never feels heavy. Like any pulse there is variation in power and speed that relate to the situation at any given point. There are many facets to the novel to savour, including alterations of form and voice and the author shows a tremendous versatility in this respect.

The work of Italo Calvino came to mind. Mr Calvino and Mr Williams are alike in that just when I feel I'm grasping their whole and sense what is to come, they change direction like a well-bowled googly to remove my middle stump.

My mention of cricket isn't entirely random. This work is surrounded by Britain's colonial past, possibly even exposing aspects of the illusion of a colonial present.

Evie Steppman has lived a wonderfully rich life. Through her ears we follow the world as it was and as it has become. Not that it's all been sweetness. Her early days reminded me of The Secret Garden - a child of the colonies loses her mother. In this case, the poor unfortunate is so overlooked she isn't even given a name and when she does so...well, I'll leave that for you to find out (and urge you to do so).

It's a story that's full of complexity that also has humanity and warmth, not an easy thing to pull off.

I believe that Luke Williams won the prestigious Saltire Award for The Echo Chamber and I'd back the judges wholeheartedly on their decision.

Very well played indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn A. Getchell TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Echo Chamber is the story of Evie, her memoir, a complex patchwork quilt of colorful and richly textured scraps of memories and stories, stitched together with a variegated narrative thread of alluring metaphors, allegories and allusions.

In fact, the book is a metaphor in itself, echoing in allusion many other stories and writers, such as Gunter Grass and his THE TIN DRUM, Bruno Schulz and his THE STREET OF CROCODILES, Salman Rushdie and his MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN, and Robert Louis Stevenson from his 'From a Railway Carriage.' One will even "hear" echoes of the Ancient Mariner and Dr. Frankenstein. All are alluded to seamlessly in the narrative of an unique, melancholy heroine, a woman who "...must write. Set down on paper. Faithfully record my past before it becomes tinnitus and is lost. But how dreary. How dim and unnatural words are!"..."Reluctantly I write."

Evie Steppman was born in the tense, loud and cacophonous, dying days of the British Empire in Nigeria. Now she resides in Gullane, Scotland, a solitary woman in her late fifties, typing her autobiography on a laptop computer in a quiet, cluttered attic, an attic repository of memories which can metaphorically be considered a sort of echo chamber for her, a chamber where stories and histories resonate into a restless narrative. Her story, her personal history, begins with a chance encounter on a train between a man who would become her maternal grandfather and the man who would become her father.

Evie has a preternatural power of hearing which she first was made aware of in her mother's womb, Evie`s first echo chamber. Her auditory gift has made her an extraordinary listener, one who hears what others cannot.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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