The Echo Chamber and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£8.99
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Echo Chamber Paperback – 6 Dec 2011


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.99
£3.35 £0.01


Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141019514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141019512
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,093,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

Beguiling, astonishing, rich (Guardian )

Rich and resonant . . . stuffed with stories, literary references and peculiar details, this beguiling novel is a work of astonishing synthesis

(Guardian )

Weaves a rich web of stories, while playfully questioning notions of truth, history, narrative, even the reliability of words (Scotland on Sunday )

Read this novel aloud. Read it wearing earplugs. But read it, and notice its aural effect (Sunday Times )

About the Author

Luke Williams was born in 1977. He grew up in Fife, Scotland, and now divides his time between Edinburgh and London. The Echo Chamber is his first novel.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Helen S VINE VOICE on 2 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Echo Chamber is narrated by Evie Steppman who was born in Lagos in 1946. Evie has always considered herself to have a remarkable sense of hearing - she even remembers listening to her father telling her stories while she was still in the womb - but now that she's getting older she can't hear as well as she used to. Sitting in her attic in Scotland surrounded by diaries, maps, postcards and other items from her past, Evie decides that it's time to write the story of her life.

This is an interesting and unusual book which encourages the reader to think about sound in a new way. It made me really appreciate the everyday sounds that we take for granted.

At first I found it difficult to form an emotional connection with Evie as a person. There were other characters that I found more interesting - I was particularly fascinated by the character of Evie's grandfather, Mr Rafferty, a watchmaker who tried to create a clockwork replica of his late wife. And so I appreciated the inclusion of two chapters in which we get the chance to read Evie's lover's diary; seeing her through someone else's eyes gave an extra dimension to her character. I also enjoyed the chapters which dealt with Evie's childhood in Nigeria during the final years of British rule.

The Echo Chamber is written in a number of different formats - diary entries, question and answer sessions, stories-within-stories - and although I'm not sure this really worked for me it did add to the originality of the book. I didn't find it an easy read, but as a debut novel I think Luke Williams can be proud to have come up with something so different and imaginative.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Jun 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Echo Chamber should have been better, but it just didn't work.

First there's the basic premise. A woman, Evie Steppman, who is losing her hearing wants to record her life before she finally goes deaf. Er... why? Particularly when so much of the exercise seems to involve typing up text that exists elsewhere.

Then there's the bizarre timeline. We're supposed to accept that Evie's grandfather was in a geriatric home with dementia in 1972 and still there post 1997. I don't think so. Then there are the, frankly, incredible plot lines. Evie's father abandoned her in Nigeria when she was born in order to sail back to the UK to bury Eve's mother who had died in childbirth. Hmmm. And then there's the idea that even when he returned, he never bothered to name her - allowing her name to be set by accident years later in a children's game. Cute, but quite unlikely. And at the end, Evie's immediate plans are simply inexplicable. They have no basis in previous characterization or rational sense.

Luke Williams strives to create a literary feel to his work. In the main, this is done by making crucial moments of plot harder to understand by using oblique language. There is imagery which is obviously supposed to mean something - the mappa mundi going mouldy; the watch with only one hand; the mice in the attic - but it's too obscure. It just looks pretentious.

The effect is an overwritten and rather dull novel. The narrative simply has no feminine feel to it. Aside from the occasional mention of wearing a dress, Evie's voice sounds unremittingly male. And dead. The one exception is a section of diary, supposedly written by Evie's female lover Damaris. This relatively long section feels like a breath of fresh air - it sounds authentic, female, engaging, emotional.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By nigel p bird on 1 Jun 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I came across this by way of recommendation and am delighted I listened to those who shared their opinions with me.

The writing is beguiling. It has a rhythm, like a reassuring pulse, that means the density of the book never feels heavy. Like any pulse there is variation in power and speed that relate to the situation at any given point. There are many facets to the novel to savour, including alterations of form and voice and the author shows a tremendous versatility in this respect.

The work of Italo Calvino came to mind. Mr Calvino and Mr Williams are alike in that just when I feel I'm grasping their whole and sense what is to come, they change direction like a well-bowled googly to remove my middle stump.

My mention of cricket isn't entirely random. This work is surrounded by Britain's colonial past, possibly even exposing aspects of the illusion of a colonial present.

Evie Steppman has lived a wonderfully rich life. Through her ears we follow the world as it was and as it has become. Not that it's all been sweetness. Her early days reminded me of The Secret Garden - a child of the colonies loses her mother. In this case, the poor unfortunate is so overlooked she isn't even given a name and when she does so...well, I'll leave that for you to find out (and urge you to do so).

It's a story that's full of complexity that also has humanity and warmth, not an easy thing to pull off.

I believe that Luke Williams won the prestigious Saltire Award for The Echo Chamber and I'd back the judges wholeheartedly on their decision.

Very well played indeed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lost John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Many people have aspirations as story-tellers, but most of us strain to come up with anything entirely original. Just a few can somehow pull a tale out of nowhere. When they do, their originality may produce a quality of strangeness that can be uncomfortable for the reader or listener. The Echo Chamber by Luke Williams is such a story.

The Echo Chamber is all the more remarkable in that it was written by a male author born in 1977 but offers a more or less convincing account of a woman of sixty-five's view of her life so far, a life that includes thirteen years in pre-independence Nigeria. Luke Williams cannot have had much personal experience that relates even loosely to that.

On close inspection, The Echo Chamber is seen to be a succession of stories, woven together to form a single narrative. And, if we haven't recognised them as we read, after completing The Echo Chamber we discover that many of the most readable and memorable parts owe much to authors who have gone before, authors ranging from Robert Louis Stephenson to Isaac Babel and Günther Grass. And two chapters - dealing heavily in lesbian sex - were almost entirely written by a collaborator, Natasha Soobramanien, who is also credited with having taken the book jacket's author photo. One guesses that she is the Natasha to whom the whole book is dedicated.

Undoubtedly, Luke Williams' basic concept was original, and he has done a creditable job of weaving a colourful tapestry. We need have no more concern regarding its validity as a new piece of work than we would over an objet d'art made from items picked-up in a flea market. The necessary permissions of copyright holders have been obtained, so who's to carp?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback