Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Hum and the Shiver: A Novel of the Tufa (Tufa Novels) Paperback – September 27, 2011
|New from||Used from|
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“Imagine a book somewhere between American Gods and Faulkner. In brief: a good book. Absolutely worth your time.” ―Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author
“As raw and bewitching as the music and magic that fuel it. I loved this book for many reasons--the bone-deep mystery, the setting, the music, and the harsh beauty of its characters. It gives a new meaning to well played.” ―Rachel Caine, New York Times bestselling author
“Haunting . . . A rustic version of ‘urban fantasy,' with its suggestion that there's mystery just around the corner, hidden behind even the dullest small-town facade.” ―Wall Street Journal
“With a deep love for the mountains embedded in his language, Bledsoe crafts a deceptively simple story of family and community, laced throughout with the music and beliefs of a magical reality. Elegantly told.” ―Library Journal, starred review
“This powerful, character-driven drama, set forth in superbly lucid prose, occurs against an utterly convincing backdrop and owns complications enough to keep everyone compulsively turning the pages. A sheer delight.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Bledsoe's rich, nearly poetic prose . . . captured me at page one and didn't let me go to the end. If you are a fan of urban fantasy, this is a book you need to add to your list today. There are secrets ancient and wild waiting for you to discover, and I enjoyed every minute.” ―Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Bledsoe turns standard urban fantasy tropes on their head. . . . The slowly unfolding mystery of the Tufa is a fascinating and absorbing masterpiece of world-building.” ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
ALEX BLEDSOE is the critically-acclaimed author of the Tufa novels The Hum and the Shiver, Wisp of a Thing, Long Black Curl, Chapel of Ease, and Gather Her Round as well as the Eddie LaCrosse series: The Sword-Edged Blonde, Dark Jenny, Burn Me Deadly, and He Drank, and Saw the Spider
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Much of the plot of The Hum and the Shiver revolves around the fact that Bronwyn is a Tufa. Her family and the majority of her neighbors are also Tufa. In some ways, this is a very good thing for Bronwyn. But in other ways, it presents her with difficult choices.
The Tufa are a mysterious group of people living mostly in the mountains of East Tennessee. There are all kinds of rumors and theories trying to explain what they are. They might be descendants of the Tuatha, the original fairy folk from England and Ireland. Or they might not. Otherwise, they are just like regular people. They have regular jobs, they eat at Shoney’s, some of them drink and do drugs and drive too fast. They seem to have their own magic. But much of their magic comes in the form of songs.
This would be the place to mention the lyrical writing in this book. Literally lyrical, since it includes the lyrics to several of their songs, as well as several more mundane songs. The story was a gripping read from start to finish.
Over the course of my life I have every now and then come upon a novelist who was able to create a story about a world and characters that literally suck me in because they appeal to that special kind of strange that lies deep inside my soul. What I find here in this novel is the acknowledgement that darkness and light are necessary poles of existence.
The thing about the poles of existence is that none of us can bear the extremes of those poles. Even the seers of the Bible tell us that humans cannot survive exposure to either the extreme of the light or of the darkness. As mortals we must find life in the between of light and darkness. Both have the capacity to comfort and thrill us and both have the capacity to fill us with fear and dread and/or to snuff out our life.
The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe carried me into a world of beings, part human and part mystery, who live in the areas of darkness and light where ordinary humans cannot venture. They are not angels. They are not demons. They are known in the land where they live in the mountains of Tennessee as the Tufa. But they are the progeny of the Tuatha Dea, or from real mythology associated with Ireland, the Tuatha Dé Danann, one of the mythical races that settled in Ireland and who were descendents of the Goddess Danu. The book brings these descendents to life. But their knowledge and understanding of their heritage is imperfect and is preserved by only a small number. They are able to communicate with dead spirits and, at times it seems almost as if they are either cavorting with angels and demons, or that they are themselves the incarnation of angels and demons.
In “The Hum and the Shiver” we never seem the Tufa actually cavorting with angels and demons. That is part of what makes the book work so well and be so believable. We do eventually see things that enable us to peek more into the alternate universe that is through the most part of the book only hinted at. What we are allowed eventually to see clearly for an instant is only the briefest of glimpses of another reality. Yet it appears that brief glimpse is crucial to the story as it continues on into the books that follow.
Some criticize the very long and slow trek of the beginning of this story. And, yes, it does begin with a quite long exploration of the history and struggles of a young woman, Bronwyn Hyatt, recently returned from Iraq as a hero veteran of that conflict but at heart a First Daughter of the Tufa, a people who came to the Americas before the first European settlers and were in fact found by the first settlers already living in the mountains of Tennessee. In my own estimation this very long slow trek is to the novel as might be a long slow coming to be accepted in the community the novel describes. If the reader isn’t willing to invest the time needed to get to know these people then I would wager the experience of them will be a shallow one. Some seem to want a novel that takes them to Needsville and let’s them off the tour bus long enough to see a super hero movie. If that’s what a reader is looking for, better to read a super hero novella. For my part I was glad to have the opportunity to live with these people and see them working through their customs and experience how they live together before the action began, because when the action finally does begin I was able to more fully appreciate some depths of what was happening.
The Tufa are reflective of the very real presence of people in the Appalachian mountains of the Virginias, Tennessee, the Carolinas and other parts of Appalachia whose Bluegrass mountain music is rooted in Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English traditional music. And just as in listening to a traditional Bluegrass group one can ‘feel’ that the music is a part of who they are as a people, that it is rooted in their souls, so we experience the music of the Tufa. And what we find in this story is that this music has power to give life, healing and wellness. But it also has power to curse and bring death. Full blooded Tufa are the progeny of the Tuatha
One for whom music is rooted in the soul need not, in fact, be a Tufa or live in a holler of the mountains of Appalachia to recognize the truth in this modern day mythological tale. Yet it is also true that when you experience one of these home grown Bluegrass groups there is a feeling that something deeper is going on that will ever be apparent to the eye or the ear of the uninitiated. It is mysterious and it is mystical in a way that cannot be put into words.
Do you wonder to what the title, “The Hum and the Shiver” refers? In all likelihood if you think carefully about your life you will realize that, at one time or another, you have experienced them, most likely not at the same time. If you have not experienced the Hum then you have had a sad live indeed. If you have not experienced the Shiver, you must have been living in some kind of unreal bubble of either over-protectiveness or lack of awareness.
Tuatha Dea, singing their own song titled “The Hum and the Shiver” wonderfully captures the mystical and earthy atmospherics of Alex Bledsoe’s novel “The Hum and the Shiver” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v18QkY2-1Q
I hate to say it but if you didn't like this one you are either spiritually dead or from a culture so alien to the one he describes that you never will get it.
In fact, records state that they were already there when the first European colonists began pushing their way west. (<------how cool is that?)
Yes, the Tufa are born in their valley, grow up to have children of their own in their valley, live and die in their valley . . . play their songs in their valley . . . and that is the way it has always been.
With few exceptions.
Bronwyn Hyatt is one such exception. She left, joining the army when she was 18, to get out of the Tufa valley. To get away from the wild boy who became a reckless man. To prove to herself that she could do what she wanted, be who she wanted, be what she wanted.
Two years later she find herself returning to the home she fled as a war hero. A horribly wounded war hero with no recollection of her heroic deeds, but as far as her country and her government are concerned, a war hero nevertheless.
To her family and the Tufa . . . she is as she ever was.
What follows is Bronwyn's journey to find her place among her people.
I was captivated by that journey.
I was transported back to my childhood in rural Middle Tennessee, where I had known these people. Been friends with some of them, knew something was wrong with others, and was constantly surrounded by them b/c they were my family and my neighbors, my teachers and my schoolmates . . .
I would never go back to that world.
But the good was good enough to make it worth the visit.
THE HUM AND THE SHIVER encapsulates the rural South better than anything else I've read. Be warned: parts are hideous. This is not the genteel South. There are no beautiful, ramshackle old plantation homes. There are no eloquent and wise matriarchs sitting on their front porch, drinking lemonade and quilting. There are no Sunday afternoon picnics under centuries-old oak trees.
This is the South at the end of the dirt road. This is the South at the backend of civilization. This is South where ignorance and bigotry still flourish.
Stupidity isn't contagious and some people have never fallen prey to such ridiculous ideologies.
And ultimately it's those people that this book is about. With a supernatural twist: where did these Tufa come from anyway?
Read it and find out. Highly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
The writing is simple with depth., just as the subjects he writes about. Bravo.