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The Island of Whispers Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews


This is the story of a colony of rats living on an island under the Forth Rail Bridge. Ruled over by an `inner circle' of evil fat rats, and in fear for their lives, a group of lowly `watchers' attempts to brave the stormy waters and scale the giant bridge in a bid for freedom. But celebrations for the bridge's centenary are about to begin.... will they make it?

A story of oppression overcome, fierce loyalty, dreams and devastation. Grisly to the end, but with heart. You'll never look at the little islands in the same way again. -- The Portobello Reporter, UK, Winter 2009

Product Details

  • File Size: 372 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: McStorytellers (January 13, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 13, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,490 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Brendan Gisby was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, halfway through the 20th century, and was brought up just along the road in South Queensferry (the Ferry) in the shadow of the world-famous Forth Bridge. He presently lives in splendid isolation in the wilds of Strathearn in Scotland.

Retiring from a business career in 2007, Brendan has devoted himself to writing. To date, he has published three novels, three biographies and several short story collections, details of all of which can be viewed on this site.

Brendan is also the founder of McStorytellers (, a website which showcases the work of Scottish-connected short story writers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Polley on February 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Reminiscent of Richard Adams' Watership Down, Brendan Gisby's novel is a mesmerizing tale of conquest, enslavement and yearning for a life of freedom from oppression and want harm.

Set in Scotland in an ancient ruined monastery on the island of Inchgarvie that was abandoned during the Middle Ages, "The Island of Whispers" tells the story of the conquest and subjugation of the island's indigenous black rat population by much larger (cat-size larger) brown rats that arrived from passing ships. Enslaved, despised and abused by the brown rats, the black rats yearn for freedom and dream of founding a just society somewhere else. The ruling leadership will do anything to snuff it out and exterminate it.

Looking out from his island prison, Twisted Foot sees another land. How could they get there? Could it be a place where he, his mate and his child could have a free life? What about Fat One, Small Face and Long Ears? Would they be interested? And Grey Eyes, Soft-Mover and Bone-Cruncher? They would have to be very, very careful to avoid the sharp eyes and ears of the Protectors and the Inner Circle. Eventually, taking Slayer, the Slave King who escapes during a slave revolt that the authorities brutally put down, they leave the island for their freedom.

What happens then? Does their last? Does it grow? Are Twisted Foot, Fat One and their friends able to establish the just society they were dreaming of? You'll have to read the book to find that out, which - unless you hate rats - shouldn't be a problem, as it's a can't-put-it-down kind of read.

This rat tale is a wonderfully told story of the yearning to be free that's in every person's heart. It's a story that is as ancient as history, and as current as today's news.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tim Hewtson on December 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I've been meaning to read this book for a long time because it has a great reputation among writers, and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

I cannot speak for how rat colonies operate, but it certainly has a strong resemblance to how human colonies operate from a good, solid Scottish Socialist point of view, and I am not disputing it.

Here we have the fat and megalomaniac rulers, their coddled and lazy offspring, the ruthless enforcers, the purveyors of intelligence and news, the slaves, and the few who dream of being free of all the chains that bind. Give me death or give me freedom - but they would prefer to be a little surer of the freedom before they risk their lives.

As one who is sick and tired of famous American actors impersonating cuddly animals which are so human they might as well show the actors' faces and have done, it is a real pleasure to be back in the land of sharp political allegory, anthropomorphic or otherwise.

Guaranteed for an enjoyable read and heated bar discussion afterwards with all your Tea Party / Tory friends.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Carmen DeSousa on May 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Imagine my surprise when I logged on to write a review and I saw that everyone else had already said the same thing I wanted to say. So, I'll summarize in just a few short words: A wonderful, tragic, truthful story, reminds me of "Watership Down".

But I will make another comment. I actually looked Brendan up on Facebook and friended him, because I wanted to know who edited his novel, as I am accustomed to finding many editing errors in Indie published books. To my surprise, he answered, "No one." So, don't be afraid to check out this Indie author; he is a great writer and storyteller.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rosmarie Epaminondas on November 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
THE ISLAND OF WHISPERS by Brendan Gisby made me think of WATERSHIP DOWN. In THE ISLAND OF WHISPERS there are no (mostly cuddly) furries with long ears, but, oh don't we all dread them, rats. And Gisby pulls it off. The rats become personalities, characters, doing what they have to do, very much reminding me of what we do to each other every day, somewhere.

Gisby creates a small world somewhere in the North of England, where - many generations after having arrived on a tiny island - the newcomers create a kingdom with a ruling family weakened by too much comfort, hubris and the illusion of safety. Next are the courtiers, the rats who run the shop, the protectors. The protectors keep the royal rat family far from the `dirty' business of survival and rule the roost with an iron fist and absolute ruthlessness. There are the hunters (providing the daily meals of hunted and killed gulls - the only other inhabitants apart from the rats - mainly for the ruling class) the watchers (the lookouts on rotating guard duty) followed by the slaves who do the dirty work.

Predictably some at the lower end of this particular rat society's scale tweak to the possibility of changing the system, of perhaps escaping and starting somewhere else, a new beginning with a fair system of government in a green and pleasant world.

The reader is soon caught up in the intrigues, sufferings, cruelties, deceits and can't help but soon identifying with, and supporting, the `good guys', suffering with that little band of braves their fear, the dangers, and rejoicing with them when their courage wins the day.

A great read. Once you start you won't stop until you're sure that all ends well. I became a kid again as well as contemplating some of the ills of our world which I think Gisby had in mind when he was writing THE ISLAND OF WHISPERS.
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