- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Ace; reprint edition (December 1, 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441865844
- ISBN-13: 978-0441865840
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,239,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Voice of Our Shadow Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955
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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...