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The Sound of My Voice (Five Star Paperback) Paperback – 22 Aug 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; New Ed edition (22 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852427531
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852427535
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 409,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The Sound of My Voice is the sound of a writer at the peak of his power, and one of the most inventive and daring novels ever to have come out of Scotland. Ron Butlin is that rarest of breeds - a poet who takes the novel form and shows that it is ripe for reinvention. Playful, haunting and moving, this is writing of the highest quality? Ian Rankin ?A genuinely powerful and redemptive piece of work... uncompromising yet strangely uplifting? Greg Eden, Bookseller ?One of the greatest pieces of fiction to come out of Britain in the ?80?s. Genuinely subversive, Butlin?s book is a stylistic triumph. A major novel.? Irvine Welsh ?An extraordinarily powerful and redemptive work, as impressive for its use of language as for its emotional appeal. Butlin?s only precursor is Kafka.? Nicholas Royle, Time Out

About the Author

Before taking up writing full-time Ron Butlin was, at various times, a lyricist with a pop band, a barnacle scraper on Thames barges, a footman attending embassies and country houses, and a male model. His works include the novels The Sound of My Voice, Night Visits and most recently Belonging; two collections of stories, Vivaldi and the Number 3 and The Tilting Room, and six books of poetry. His fiction and poetry have been translated into over ten languages.

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First Sentence
If you ask any student of Celtic literature to name the classic works of fiction originating from the Scotland in the last twenty or so years, the list would be pretty predictable. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Sarah Jordan on 21 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
I have often wondered what it would be like to be an alcoholic and this is about as close as I want to get. Reading this book I often felt disorientated and anxious, as if I was seeing Morris' world through his brandy-goggles. Although it is a short book it is long enough. Its brilliance is oppressive. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it but I won't forget it in a hurry. A real experience for those looking for something that little bit different.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
Probably the outstanding Scottish novel of the 1980s. Irvine Welsh picked up on this one as a lost masterpiece, and he's right. Written in the second person continuous present tense, this novel is funny, scarey, hilarious, troubling and profound as our alcoholic narrator slides towards the end of his life as a biscuits executive. My heart was thumping as this story moves towards its end - which I won't give away, except to say its perfect, deeply moving, and oddly life-affirming. This novel is as perfect as it is short.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Harvey on 29 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
.... For a Scottish novel of the 1980's that slipped the net, you might think 'The Sound of My Voice' would be stylistically akin to James Kelman say, or a precursor to Irvine Welsh's 'scots' monolgues who has helped dig this book out of the 'lost fiction' department and put it back where it belongs. However Ron Butlin's 114 page novel, illuminates not the disaffected working classes of 1980's Scotland, but a successful executive, Morris Magellan as it's central character, and it's stylistic triumph has little to do with 'vernacular', more the second-person narration that draws the reader from the outset into a very tense and disturbing place.
What Butlin's book does have in common with the cannon of Scottish writers who include Kelman, is that the daily grind is heart renderingly captured here, Magellan who runs a biscuit company may have the wife, kids, suburban house, car and well paid job but he is caught between the house and the office in a meaningless cycle, where his emotional disintegration is dramatised by his alcoholism, something Butlin has captured with rare skill, so much so that for a short novel this is emotionally harrowing to read and hauntingly so. In between this office, home trajectory littered with violent bursts of consumption, through Magellan's voice we follow him back to memories of early childhood and teenage years, incidents that are both defined by the presence of his father. Memories of a small boy in the country, confused about perspective, how far off buildings get closer when you move toward them, or of a teenager at a party, drinking with a girl would perhaps be happy incidents, but they are almost nightmarish in Magellan's mind, both emblamatic of the inability to communicate emotion that defines his internal collapse.
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By Gavvie on 14 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Was a different cover from the image provided on the advert but I'm sure it won't make a difference. The book was in good description and otherwise as described
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Baraniecki Mark Stuart on 6 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
<Contains Spoilers>

I don't know if this book was influenced by Eric Berne's writing but it fits nicely into Transactional Analysis (eg his book "What Do You Say After You Say Hello?").
A tiresome clever wally marketing manager uses alcohol to hide his damaged emotional state (from childhood) and support his playacting marriage and working life. He slides into a downward spiral but instead of arriving at the scripted crash, his inner (adult) voice pushes aside the child and gently helps him to help himself and successfully challenge the root of the problem, in this case his dead father.
A short but valuable book about alcoholism.
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