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The Distant Sound of Violence by [Greensides, Jason]
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The Distant Sound of Violence Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It is smart, gripping and even weaves an intriguing mystery into the mix. I cannot praise it highly enough. A masterpiece." - D.M. Cain, author of The Phoenix Project and A Chronicle of Chaos
 
"This reviewer seems to recall something that was said of Dostoevsky and how, to be successful, a novel requires an overarching philosophy. It is especially in this respect that Greensides's work merits ultimate recognition." - The Literary Reader
 
"Every once in a while, I finish a book, don't do anything for a while except sit and think about it. This is one of those... It's rough and violent, but compassionate towards every character. This is one I'm definitely going to thrust upon my friends and family." - Sunshine Somerville, author of The Kota series
 
"A powerful sense of place and a sharp, nostalgic feel pervade the novel, and the supporting characters are richly drawn...an engaging, exciting and thought-provoking read that I'd strongly recommend." - Nathan Jones
 
"There are twists and turns, light and shade in every page and in summation the book was a joy to read... It is without doubt a skilled debut from Jason Greensides." - Boopy

About the Author

Jason Greensides has a degree in Video Production and Film Studies, and has made several short films, one of which was a competition winner, and another two broadcast on television; but writing fiction is his real passion. He is interested in 'outsider' types, people operating on the fringes of society, a theme he fully developed in his debut novel, The Distant Sound of Violence. He is currently working on his second novel, another coming-of-age mystery. He lives in London.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2712 KB
  • Print Length: 335 pages
  • Publication Date: November 27, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00PP1H2F0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,265,634 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Length: 2:50 Mins
This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It is smart, gripping and even weaves an intriguing mystery into the mix. I cannot praise it highly enough :)
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Do you remember your first crush in school? What would you have done to get his or her attention? In Jason Greensides’ The Distant Sound of Violence, a childhood crush produces a snowball effect that will have life-changing consequences for many people. For teenager Nathan Dawes, his long-awaited opportunity to get a chance to talk to his crush, Stephanie, come when his friend Ryan asks for his help retrieving his aunt’s stolen lawnmower. Nathan, who is a member of a street gang, agrees to help on one condition: that Ryan put in a good word in his behalf with Stephanie. Unfortunately, things spiral out of control, and in the midst of a battle with the rival gang who took the lawnmower, a child disappears. This leads Nathan, Ryan, and to some extent, Stephanie (who is hiding a shameful secret of her own) to a life of obsessive searching for Aidy.

The Distant Sound of Violence has a very strong existentialist, picaresque flavor reminiscent of Charles Dickens. His characters are beautifully flawed. They are neglected children, delinquent teenagers, drug addicts, criminals, single parents, and gangsters. Because they are not idealized, they are more relatable to readers. A small but perfect example is how Nathan finds Stephanie’s most endearing trait is her crooked front teeth. Readers will find themselves going along with Ryan and Nathan on their separate journeys across the city to locate Aidy, a journey that costs Ryan his marriage and Nathan his mental health. I found it very difficult to put this put down. A strongly recommended read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected great things from this book, and my expectations were met and then blown away. This is not your typical contemporary fiction read - it's much better. You can look forward to literary intelligence, mystery, social critique, and constant ambiance. It's very difficult to predict where the plot and subplots are going, so I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout. There's so much to talk about that I feel the need to use bullet points:

- The author has a way of making you feel very close to characters you can't necessarily relate to. This can cause an uncomfortable feeling at times - sometimes you're glad you can't relate to them because there's something disturbing about them - but that's what comes of good writing. He draws the reader into each character and their particular plight with no tricks, awkwardness, or "author talking". Just subtle and nonchalant use of POV and in-character, natural-feeling thought processes.

- The main narrator is not an unreliable narrator, but he says things about the future in very carefully phrased ways that make you think you know what's going to happen to some degree. That narration leads the reader down the wrong path every time, not because the narrator isn't honest, but because he is careful not to give anything away at all. Every time this happened, I thought, "But didn't he say that..." and I was wrong. It was phrased so as to just tell you what you need to know and nothing more. I came to my own conclusions based on that "future talk", but he didn't actually lead me in the wrong direction. That really kept me on my toes.

- The ending is something you can't guess, and it's really an amazing perspective-changer.
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In The Distant Sound of Violence Jason Greensides vividly captures the teen angst of 15-year-olds in a London school--the confusion, trying out different roles and passionate longing for unattainable love. If ever there was an age I would not like to revisit, it would be 15, Yet some of things that happened that year made permanent changes that still resonate. The teenagers in this book change their lives in dramatic ways. The adults that they become carry unfinished business from those traumas.

Reading the book reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock's description of surprise versus suspense. Surprise is when two characters are playing cards and a bomb goes off under the table. Suspense is when the audience sees someone plant the bomb under the table. Then the characters come in, sit down and start playing cards. We want to be able to warn them. We root for them to find the bomb. But how? The Distant Sound of Violence starts with a theft that spirals out of control when a street gang gets involved. There are surprises as well as suspense and an ending no one could predict.

The Violence in the title tells us that something bad is going to happen, so the suspense starts ticking even before page one. We don't know what will happen or when, but from the first page danger looms. Early in the book, Ryan, the primary narrator, tells us that something happened to Nathan, an outsider and gang member. You know it won't be something good. And yet, Nathan has a philosophical turn of mind (that drives everyone around him crazy) and unquenchable, irrational longing for Stephanie, a "good girl" who has secrets and anguish of her own that she dares not confess.

The first page finds Ryan trying to track down his aunt's stolen lawnmower.
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