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The Hum of Concrete; A Novel Constellation by [Solding, Anna]
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The Hum of Concrete; A Novel Constellation Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The characters who figure in the interwoven stories that make up The Hum of Concrete are treated with heartwarming tenderness. The narration is unobtrusively and effectively managed, the Swedish settings vividly realized. --J.M. Coetzee, Nobel Laureate for Literature

Few novels invite you in as irresistibly as this one, and few give you as exhilarating and surprising a ride. Anna writes with such tenderness, intelligence and invention. A novel to love and explore with and return to, and a most compelling and intriguing new voice in Australian writing. --Peter Bishop

Anna Solding's spare and sensual prose strikingly details the liminal existences of five women living in one of Sweden's most diverse cities. Malmö offers up its secrets, its sufferings and joys in the lives of those we do not often understand. Whether black, brown or white, they live on the fringes of municipal flats, hospitals and the sea, dreaming of elsewhere. This discontinuous narrative weaves a magical intimacy into the cycle of birth, sex and death in the city, and it does not look away from seeing hope. --Brian Castro, author of The Bath Fugues

About the Author

Anna Solding grew up in Sweden, before moving to Australia in 1999. Working as a photographer, translator, editor and university tutor to support her writing, she earned a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide. Many of her stories have won awards and have appeared in journals and collections. She has judged the HarperCollins Varuna Awards and has served as fiction co-editor for the literary magazines Wet Ink and Animate Quarterly. In 2010, The Hum of Concrete was shortlisted for the Unpublished Manuscript Award at the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Anna lives in Adelaide with her partner and their three gorgeous boys. The Hum of Concrete is her first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3101 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: MidnightSun Publishing; 1. edition (February 29, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 29, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007FU6ZT8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711,841 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From its first chapter, with a second person narrative voice that is simultaneously directive, tentative and playful, The Hum of Concrete is a challenging novel. It asks the reader to embrace a loosely woven yet epic story that spans multiple characters and many years, winding its way through the streets and parks and industrial estates of the Swedish city of Malmo. The surprising aspect of this story is how confidently first time author Anna Solding weaves her narrative skeins into a captivating tapestry of five lives and a city. Like an entertaining guest who leaves early, each character invites the reader to wonder more about what will become of him or her. But the most compelling character is Malmo itself, the hometown that clearly still holds Solding's heart.
The Hum of Concrete is a lyrical love story for a city left behind and the people who live there. A rich and rewarding read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A friend and I chose to read this novel because of the great reviews we've read in the papers. Over a long lunch we got into a heated debate over two of the chapters that were written in the second person. (I mean, how silly is it to get into an argument over small parts of a novel!?) My friend said that the author should have avoided this, because it's unrealistic to expect a reader to plunge into someone else's brain from the first page, and 'become' them. Because the rest of the book is different, the first chapter (written in second person) would put a lot of people off, before giving the rest of the fabulous novel a chance. I disagreed with my friend - the first chapter allowed me to 'become' the eyes of the 'sled-runner' and I was taken for an exhilerating snowy ride, trusting the author to activate my imagination, placing me right in middle of Malmo's experience. But I can see his point.

There is much to say about the book - but it would spoil to reveal too much. I really enjoyed this novel, and I'm anticipating great things from this new, skilled writer. The stories are woven tightly, beautifully, often sexy, the characters are warm and believable, and the writing is finely controlled. You are always on the edge of your seat, worried about the women, and how they will resolve their issues. The stories are 'alive', hopeful, and clear. Surprisingly, these are *not* separate stories, but as the book accurately states - a 'constellation' of stories - intertwined lives that revolve around one city - Malmo.

My first wish is that Solding would follow up and devote a book on each character - as they all deserve a novel of her own. I want to know more about their lives! Please.
My second wish is to go and visit Sweden, and especially Malmo. Someone ought to put this book in the 'travel' section. :)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not so hard to put down after a flat 33%. Found that too long to wait. And the insistent 1st person of two whole chapters becomes prosaic. Love Sweden and Malmo itself but a hundred brightly-coloured small moments in those pages tested the conventions of an interesting opening when it seems that could be the style of the whole book. Close to breathless, immediate and up close memoir of a young person? Perhaps this is a teen-lit opus. If I missed something arriving later....too bad.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this novel impossible to step away from once begun. It is an outstanding work that is compelling and yet haunting.

J.M. Coetzee writes of this novel `The characters who figure in the interwoven stories that make up The Hum of Concrete are treated with heartwarming tenderness. The narration is unobtrusively and effectively managed, the Swedish settings vividly realized.' and no truer statement I feel can be made.

I know that this book will not be one to gather years of dust on my shelves as I will need to return to the characters and Miss Solding's Malmo as they have imprinted themselves on my heart.
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