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A Book of Silence Paperback – August 17, 2010
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Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"A timely and alluring exploration of the pleasures and powers of silence." -- Tim Parks
About the Author
Sara Maitland is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the Somerset Maugham Award-winning Daughters of Jerusalem, and several non-fiction books about religion. Born in 1950, she studied at Oxford University and currently tutors on the Distance Learning MA in creative writing for Lancaster University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Now, don't get me wrong. I have found thoughts of value in this book, but I did found thoughts that shouldn't be uttered by anyone if he wants himself to be considered serious (like the one about mobile phones being a weapon of Satan, which is utter in a mode that doesn't even resemble metaphorical mode of speech). And while more peaceful and quite life seems as a valid goal to which we should strive I can't but think that it's advocate comes from a rich family, goes around on voyages across the globe in search for a perfect spot where she can listen to silence and I can't but think of all the people who will read this book and never be able to leave their small, rental houses for one reason or the other. Maitland's writing about silence lack profoundness and simplicity of Buddhist teachings, lacks introspective gracefulness of scholars and thinkers of past ages, and overall it feels and reads as another example of pompous new-age philosophy.
Maybe I'm being hostile without a reason, but somehow it feels that while this is the book about beauty of silence it is in the same way book about one's own ego. There exist only author and her experience (however scholarly it might be written) and the diversity of the world and its people somehow got removed from this mental picture. Maybe I'm thinking in the wrong direction when asking of this book to be more politically observant (but somehow I can't escape the notion that every author out there should reflect or at least be aware of political topics), after all, quest for silence kinda puts you out of touch with contemporary society, but I can't help but to think that book that speaks praises for an alternate model of society can willfully choose to neglect all of this and still remain viable. It is almost as Maitland put on her shoulder mantle of romantic poets, questing for lost spirit of some ancient time, while at the same time forgetting about hungry and ravaged hordes of people that live underneath her doorstep. Yes, it is a good book, one that I should be reading again, but still strangely unsettling to me because of all that remained unsaid or unthought-of. If we look for silence to find ourselves and ignore the screams of others, have we done a good thing? Maybe. But, sadly, Sara Maitland, doesn't provide us with an answer of her own.
As a product, the hardback book was in good condition, but I was a little disappointed that it didn't come with its cover. As a graphic designer, I'm interested in book covers, and I don't believe the missing cover was mentioned in the product description. But that's a nitpick. I am very much enjoying my purchase.