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The Chimes Hardcover – May 3, 2016

3.8 out of 5 stars 102 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"A highly original dystopian masterpiece, an intricately imagined, exquisitely invoked world in which music instills order and ravages individuality . . . Smaill is a poet and a classically trained violinist, and both these skills shine in this lyrical novel steeped in the language of music . . . clearly marking her as an exciting new writer to watch."
Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March

"something strikingly new"―Lit Hub

"Smaill's clever use of musical terms in her characters' speech adds to the immersive quality of the work, and her melodious prose lures the reader like a pied piper. With literary trappings but a solidly speculative heart, The Chimes is a cantata of pure delight."―Jaclyn Fulwood, Shelf Awareness (Starred Review)

"Smaill is a classically trained musician - a violinist, to be precise - and it shows on every page of The Chimes. Not only does music saturate the book's setting, it fills its themes and prose . . . For all the poetry and lyricism, The Chimes is a solid, suspenseful adventure story at heart, complete with a quest, a prophecy, and a simmering, deeply moving romance . . . lucid yet dreamlike writing pulls it through. Not to mention her deft, tender characterization . . . [and] profound ideas and images echoing throughout."
NPR Books

"To call The Chimes striking is, I dare say, to underplay what might be the most distinctive debut of the decade."

"Cleverly orchestrated and poignantly conveyed throughout."The Guardian

"One of a kind, both in its dystopian landscape and use of gorgeous language throughout . . . Fans of the eloquence and imagery of Jeff VanderMeer's 'Southern Reach' trilogy and the spare desolation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road will adore this original work."
Megan McArdle, Library Journal (Starred Review, Debut of the Month)

"A melodic, immersive dystopian tale set in a London where writing is lost and song has replaced story . . . Entrancingly poetic and engagingly plotted, this is a story that brims with heart and soul."
Kirkus Reviews

"The Chimes is a remarkable debut. It's inventive, beautifully written, and completely absorbing. I highly recommend it."
Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

"Atmospheric, intensely-imagined strangeness."―Daily Mail

About the Author

Anna Smaill is a classically trained violinist and published poet. Born in Auckland in 1979, she holds an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters (Wellington), an MA in English Literature from the University of Auckland and a PhD in contemporary American poetry from University College London. She is the author of one book of poetry, The Violinist in Spring, and her poems have been published and anthologized in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She has lived and worked in both Tokyo and London, and now lives in New Zealand with her husband, novelist Carl Shuker, and their daughter.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1 pounds
  • Hardcover : 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1681445344
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1681445342
  • Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Publisher : Quercus; First Edition (May 3, 2016)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.8 out of 5 stars 102 ratings