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The Rest is Silence

The Rest is Silence [Kindle Edition]

Carla Guelfenbein , Katherine Silver
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
Kindle Price: £4.63 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


`As Guelfenbein's intricately woven novel demonstrates, the pursuit of individual happiness can lead ineluctably to tragedy. Subtle, clearsighted, and compassionate.'
--J M Coetzee

`Written with a refreshingly guileless passion ... Guelfenbein is a steely truth-teller' --Financial Times

'In Guelfenbein's tender story, the unravelling of memories is a potent force' --Independent

'A beautiful novel' --Grazia

'From foreboding beginnings, The Rest is Silence progresses to a tragic climax ... a bleakly emotional novel'

Product Description

As the adults sit down to gossip over a long wedding lunch and the rest of the children rush off to play, a young boy slips out of sight beneath the table. Tommy is twelve years old but his weak heart prevents him from joining his cousins’ games, so he sets his MP3 player to record the voices chattering above him. But then the conversation turns to his mother’s death and he overhears something he was never meant to know: that she didn’t die of an illness, but took her own life. Confused and hurt, Tommy keeps what he has learned to himself and begins his own secret investigation into what really happened. At the same time, his father and stepmother have problems of their own to contend with. Juan is racked by private grief and guilt after the death of one of his patients, and Alma, his second wife, senses an increasing distance in their marriage and gradually finds herself drawn back towards an old flame. As all three withdraw into their own worlds, leaving more and more unsaid between them, their family story moves inexorably, affectingly towards its devastating conclusion.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 841 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846272319
  • Publisher: Portobello Books (5 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DI9EE2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99,549 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A read that does create silence 18 Aug 2011
By Stallie
It took me a while to get my hands on this one. So I could not wait to get started on it. From page one Guelfenbein manages to drag you into her story. This author has the rare gift to make every line she puts down on paper matter. It is a story woven together delicately with very well chosen words. The protagonists are constantly searching for that one thing that many of us would love to hold on forever. It also makes you reflect about the things that matter in life. The link to Hamlet is for sure very fitting.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Exploring the mind 14 April 2014
By Mac Two
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Difficult to follow who is what in each chapter I.e. who is telling the story it becomes clear at end,and would probably be better second time of reading .
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4.0 out of 5 stars good book 17 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not a fast paced story, but worth the wait. Good insight into families, people and the choices we face and make.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read 15 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book can be very gripping at times, the storyline is well structured and I will definitely recommend this book!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but not my cup of tea 9 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this as part of a book club and while it was interesting I didn't love it and probably wouldn't read other books from this author, slightly depressing
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Rest is Silence 28 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Rest is Silence wasn't really what I expected. I expected the discovery of suicide to be an important plot point which sustained throughout the story. In fact it was more of a spark that starts a fire. It was referred back to, but it wasn't as much of a key point as I had anticipated, and actually the story may have worked without it (although it would have suffered somewhat if it was taken out).

The story switched through different voices. Tommy, the young boy, Alma, his stepmother, and Jaun his Father. The time also jumped around a little, especially in Alma's chapters. This was most obvious at the beginning of the story, and it made things a little confusing, and it did make it harder to get into the book.

There were, in effect 3 (or maybe 4) stories running through the novel, one for each character, but another where all the stories interlinked. It was interesting to see the different sides of a story, and the ways the stories deviated showed the fractures in the family.

I enjoyed Alma's story best, and I think I liked her best too. There was something quite strong about her, but she almost wanted too much control over her life, she didn't ever seem to just let things happen. Possibly I shouldn't have liked her, but there was something very easy to like about her. I think part of it was that Juan was shown as having quite a hard exterior, and although we saw his softer side he never seemed to understand that sometimes you have to show you're soft side and at others it's better to remain strong. We saw the contrast between the ways he and Alma interacted with people, and Alma came off better.

Tommy's story should have been the most interesting, but his voice didn't really work for me. Sometimes it felt like a child's voice, but most of the time it was a bit too adult, without and common sense.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A boy finds his world falling apart: unable to understand both his peers and the adults in his family and unable to find a way to mend it. But through tragedy, he creates hope for the future.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Could not be bothered to finish it 15 Mar 2013
By Susi J
Format:Kindle Edition
I found this book incredibly slow going. The book starts well but then jumps around to different character's perspectives. At first I thought it was just setting the scene, but it continues all the way through and there really isn't much of a story. With the exception of the young patient in the hospital (who wasn't a main character) I couldn't have cared less what happened. In the end I just couldn't be bothered to finish it as I got so irritated.
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