- File Size: 3889 KB
- Print Length: 208 pages
- Publisher: Open Road Media (July 31, 2012)
- Publication Date: July 31, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008JVFX7W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,481 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$9.99|
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Voice of Our Shadow Kindle Edition
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|Length: 208 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Joe is a horrible, selfish and self-obsessed brat of a narrator--but his voice is also utterly uncomfortable precisely because, in being horrible, he's toeing a line that most of us have difficulty with. E.g., he uses friends for personal gain, all the while convincing himself and his audience that he's playing the Nice Guy, that maybe he's being unjustly victimized.
A lot of this novel's horror comes from that. He's just a garbage dude. Too human and too me-and-you.
Joe's your average romanticized writer living a romanticized life abroad, just with all the romantic notions beaten out of him. He fictionalized his equally-terrible dead brother's teenage exploits while getting his undergrad, and made bank on royalties from Broadway and film adaptations. He spends most of his free time--really, most of his time--living a high-brow literary life with a high-brow literary couple in Vienna. They don't really do anything other than flip witticisms back and forth and talk about how much they all care for one another at classic American movie showings.
Yeah. It's a real weird one. I liked it, and I didn't. I spent the novel feeling a bizarre concoction of captivation and anxiety, or just really pissed off. Most of what pissed me off was just how uninteresting the characters were: They spent too much time being walking witticisms and breathing in self-importance. They're social parasites to the letter.
What really captivated me was Carroll's writing style; how everything through Joe's eyes was just off-white, including the horror elements delivered in quick, unexplained punches. It's something that kept my heart thumping away, on edge, and a little confused as to why.
"Little Boy" is creepy. Any scene with those floppy cartoon gloves and their floppy reality had me reeling. *shiver*
Voice of Our Shadow feels disconnected. Its 3 short acts feel like 3 short novellas about the same characters. The connecting threads of love and dishonesty and juvenile betrayal honestly don't hold it together very well, and most of its mythic structure is, like the supernatural goings-on and Joe Lennox, slightly off and yet totally real.
What a weird book--especially the ending. It goes off with what's most easily described as a punchline--a punchline that'll leave you thinking "What...? Huh? Wait..." one or two or eleven times. Yeah: I don't know. What a weird danged book.
This is why I decided to buy Voice of Our Shadows as it had some good reviews and it was available on Kindle as opposed to other highly recommended books by JC.
I need to say that I've been searching for a good fiction since having read Bulhakov's Master & Margarita, and Dune by Herbert... and although there was a few good ones on the way i haven't found as thrilling book until I read this one....
One of the best books I've ever read... making you actually think and wonder...
Top international reviews
from different angles, he comes at you from angles that have not even been invented!
Previous books like THE WOODEN SEA and LAND OF LAUGHS are so utterly bizarre,
but so wonderfully brilliant, that you have to take a step back with this book, which having
been written way back in 1983, has a little more normality to it.
But having said that there is a strangeness to this story which I can't quite put my finger on,
as Joe Lennox, blaming himself for the death of his brother, whizzes off to Vienna and falls
in love with a married woman.
OK you're two-thirds of the way through this book and so far.....normality?
Then, suddenly, weird things begin to creep in to the scenery.......and you say to
yourself "Jonathan Carroll is BACK!"
Yes, I enjoyed this book, despite the horrid little ending.
But that's Jonathan Carroll for you!
However, like that other book this is compelling throughout but with a flat finish, almost like the author simply grew tired of writing and opted for the most predictable adn disappointingly formulaic finish.
It is such a shame because the style and pace is brilliant, the book is littered with observations of everyday life, the everyday ordinary is made extraordinary by being brought into sharp focus. This really does have the effect of priming the reader for a big finsih which does not arrive.
There are fantasy aspects, woven brilliantly into the narrative in a manner not many authors can achieve which makes the supernatural appear more plausible but ultimately I was left thinking whether or not this book is fantasy at all or a kind of psychological novel.
There is room for reflection, even discussion, of whether or not this or that plot twist or development is a sign of burgeoning madness or ghosts and haunting which I know many people think is the mark of a great book but I am not convinced myself. Carroll's clearly got great talent and it sort of feels like he prepares the reader for a big finish which doesnt arrive on schedule (something I thought was wrong with Land of Laughs too).
So I can recommend this book but I do think that anyone reading it is likely to feel let down by how it ends.