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Sound: A Novel by T.M. Wolf

Sound: A Novel

by T.M. Wolf

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I read this on the basis of a newspaper review and at first sight I was bitterly disappointed. It is really quite hard to read because of the author's attempts to capture the ambient sound of everyday life by printing large parts (almost all conversation, for instance) on staves, so you have more than one thing happening simultaneously. But it grew on me quickly, at least in part because the experimental sections are threaded through with some wonderfully lyrical passages describing the locality. The real downside for me was the ultra-hip characterisation, which grates like a hipster version of didactic socialist realism (though I suppose from the POV of the middle-class-background narrator of the novel, slumming-it for a gap year, that is the way they appear). But it isn't just subjective - apart from the cops and the crook (it has a thriller and a love story woven through it) everyone is way too nice for real. Still, I loved it for the lyricism: the real love affair in here is the author's ecstatically sensual celebration of the urban fabric and cultureof the (New) Jersey shoreline (much of it presumably swept away by storms not long after the book was published). ( )
1 vote Mijk | Dec 23, 2012 |
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Returning to a New Jersey shore that differs from the home he remembers, graduate school dropout Cincy immerses himself in music and takes a boatyard management job while obsessing about a woman named Vera.

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