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After the Fire, A Still Small Voice [Kindle Edition]

Evie Wyld
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Frank and Leon are two men from different times, discovering that sometimes all you learn from your parents' mistakes is how to make different ones of your own.



Frank is trying to escape his troubled past by running away to his family's beach shack. As he struggles to make friends with his neighbors and their precocious young daughter, Sal, he discovers the community has fresh wounds of its own. A girl is missing, and when Sal too disappears, suspicion falls on Frank.



Decades earlier, Leon tries to hold together his family's cake shop as their suburban life crumbles in the aftermath of the Korean War. When war breaks out again, Leon must go from sculpting sugar figurines to killing young men as a conscript in the Vietnam War.


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Review

Just sometimes, a book is so complete, so compelling and potent, that you are fearful of breaking its hold. This is one: a novel about (as its title might suggest) devastating damage and the humanity that, almost unfathomably, remains...with awesome skill and whiplash wit, Evie Wyld knits together past and present, with tension building all the time. In Peter Carey and Tim Winton, Australia has produced two if the finest storytellers working today. On this evidence, Wyld can match them both (Stephanie Cross Daily Mail)

Ravishingly atmospheric and wisely compassionate, this somber, ambitious first novel attempts to net more sorrows, secrets, and horrors than it can hold, but there's no doubt that Wyld is a writer of immense abilities and depth (Booklist)

At times startling, Wyld's book is ruminative and dramatic, with deep reserves of empathy colored by masculine rage and repression (Publisher's Weekly)

A terrifically self-assured debut. (Guardian)

Wyld has a feel both for beauty and for the ugliness of inherited pain. (New Yorker)

Review

It's not just about generations of men affected by war. It's about men everywhere. For any man who's ever felt like an emotional fence post, this is the book for you. I enjoyed it enormously. - Giles Foden

'Intense. Wyld is an absolutely brilliant prose writer. The first chapter is so acute, poetic but not self-consciously literary and all in service to the characters. A fantastically-written novel. But gripping, it works almost as a mystery. Incredibly realistic about men and the trouble they have expressing themselves. - Boyd Hilton, BBC Radio 5 Live

Splendid. There's a point where you realise if you're confident in a writer. For me it was page five. From that point on, I knew I would go anywhere with this author. The book has an incredible, quiet confidence in its own prose. It never raises its voice. I just ate it up. There were two brilliant Australian novels I read this year by Tim Winton and Steve Toltz, which got a huge amount of attention. This is equally good. A masterful piece of writing.- Joel Morris, BBC Radio 5 live

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 715 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307378462
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (6 Oct. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0038LB3XQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very thought provoking 26 Oct. 2009
Format:Paperback
I bought this book after reading a rave review in the paper, it was I have to agree with the review a fantastic debut novel, Evie Wylde writes beautifully and gives a real insight into that part of Australia, the war and the patterns that emerge from dysfunctional family life, very interesting and different.
The reason I deduct a star is because sometimes you have to really concentrate to keep up with the fast introduction of many characters at the same time and the fact that the main characters jump location frequently.
I would definitely read another book by this author though, didn't expect the connection at the end and thought the way you are left to make your own conclusions was clever rather than frustrating which can often be the case.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Debut of Things Left Unsaid 28 Dec. 2009
Format:Paperback
`After the Fire, A Still Small Voice' is actually the tales of two separate men told in alternating chapters living in Australia told both in the present and in the past and not always in chronological order yet never confusing. It is really hard to tell you all about it without giving anything away but do bear with me as I will try and do my best without any spoilers and yet trying to cover everything that this wonderful book does.

The first of the men we meet is Frank. Having recently given up his life in Canberra after a rather rocky relationship he has moved to his Grandparents shack by the sea in an attempt to hide away from the world which he will have to live off, though in the end the world won't remain hidden, neighbours will be friendly, and he will need money and so takes a part time job in the local marina. Franks a tough character and as we get to know him better and the story of his youth, though he is only in his twenties roughly, you gain an insight into why.

Leon is the second male character. We meet him in his youth in a town, where his family are looked down on for being immigrants, as he learns the trade of his father's cake shop which when his father is sent to fight in Korea he must take over until his father comes back. Once his father returns he is a changed man and adds additional strain to the family home leaving Leon in charge for good. Only Leon himself then gets conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War and like his father the affects of war change him forever.

This makes the book sound quite simplistic and it's not the case as Wyld throws in quite a few other plots such as a delightful romance for Leon and a wonderful tale of a little girl breaking through Frank's tough exterior. To say anymore would simply give too much away.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A zinger of a novel. 20 Sept. 2009
By R. Maas
Format:Paperback
So rare to find a book so free of cliche, and not stitched together by a cut-and-paste stylist. Full of wonderfully original descriptions that describe sensations and emotions precisely, and as if they are yours. A tale of brilliant images bleached by the Aussie sun, with a plot fringed with dark threats that lurk in memories or wait, nameless, hidden in the corn....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depth without being a heavy read 1 Aug. 2010
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
There is so much in this book that in many ways it is difficult to describe without over-simplifying it. Wyld's debut is complex while still being subtle, it has depth without being heavy and the suberb quality of the writing makes it very readable. The character of Australia is prominent and Wyld describes the Australian landscape vividly and beautifully. She uses metaphor and symbolism to make this an original book that doesn't fit the mould of so many other books.

The chapters alternate between Leon and Frank. Leon is growing up around the time of the Korean war and witnesses the after effects of war on his father. Leon himself is conscripted to fight in the Vietnam war when he becomes an adult. Frank's story is told in the present day and picks his story up as he moves to his family's beach shack to recover after the breakdown of his relationship. The traumas and tensions that the men experience shape their lives and the relationships with the people around them.

There are many themes explored but those of family, particularly fatherhood, are strong and thought provoking. While the book is ostensibly very male, it's not a certainly not book reserved for the male reader. I would imagine that this book would make an excellent book club choice as there is so much to think and talk about. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up the next book by Evie Wyld and I would highly recommend After the Fire for the reader who likes modern and contemporary fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving tale, beautifully written 17 May 2011
Format:Paperback
I suggested this for my book group after seeing it on the 12 best debut novels TV programme on World Book Night. Haven't yet heard what my friends thought, but I loved it. Evie Wyld writes in a beautifully poetic way about some very ugly things in this book. Very evocative picture of Australia, and quite different to the holiday postcard cliches we're used to (doesn't make me want to swim in the sea there !) In fact, the only reason I withheld a star despite enjoying it so much is because the quality of the writing threatened to get in the way of the story at times. Despite the easily imagined tension of the father-son relationship based on things which are shown of them separately, I would still have liked a few scenes showing them together during Frank's childhood, at the end, or even both. I thought Lucy's question 'what can he have done that's so unforgiveable ?' after she'd excluded the usual horrors of child abuse (I'm paraphrasing but it was something like that)hinted at something in particular that we were going to see or hear about, and I was a bit disappointed that it never came. I had to re-read the last chapter to fully get the ending for Frank.
But it's often said that really great writing compensates for holes in the story, and that is definitely true of this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars family ties and love weave through the whole book
Really thought provoking; family ties and love weave through the whole book. some of the time shifts were confusing.
Published 25 days ago by Sarah
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
I thought it was okay, but that's all.
Published 2 months ago by GreenBlue
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful
speed delivery , a wonderful audiobook
Published 2 months ago by Lindy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book. Watch this author!
Published 6 months ago by MRS M EGLON
3.0 out of 5 stars Duplicate title! Read the alternative too.
I was confused by a review (in Dec 2014) on BBC Radio 4 about this book, so investigated it, as I knew that the exact same title was used by Dr John Lockley for the second of his... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Alan Plom
4.0 out of 5 stars Very unusual
You can smell Australia in this book, such vivid descriptions! Not one of my favourite books but enjoyed it very much and look forward to more from Evie in future
Published 8 months ago by CJD
5.0 out of 5 stars A slow start but well worth the investment
It does have a slow start and it never gets, what you might describe as 'gripping',,but it certainly draws you in and holds your attention. I found the social history fascinating. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Uncle Barbar
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Ive read some bad books but !!!
Published 11 months ago by Mossmo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great
Published 11 months ago by janice price
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Evie Wyld is a writer to watch. A book that stays with you and I recommend all of her books
Published 13 months ago by wangfujing
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