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The Sound of Gravity [Paperback]

Joe Simpson
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2012

As her hand slips from his grip, Patrick's life is shattered, forever changed...

Trapped high on a high mountain face during the worst storm in living memory, a young man is forced to fight the brutal winter for his life - moments after his beloved wife is swept away forever across the ice. Haunted by grief and guilt, Patrick keeps vigil on the mountain for 25 years, in the hope that one day it will release his devastating secret.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099466643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099466642
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Former mountaineer Joe Simpson is the author of several best-selling books, of which the first, Touching the Void, won both the NCR award and the Boardman Tasker Award.

His later books are This Game of Ghosts - the sequel to Touching the Void, Storms of Silence, Dark Shadows Falling, The Beckoning Silence and two novels, The Water People and The Sound of Gravity.

Product Description


"The mountain and its ferocious weather are brilliantly described" (The Times)

"Another gripping mountaineering epic, but also much more than that, a fine, poetically written meditation on love, loss and redemption" (Daily Mail)

"The familiar Simpsonian territory of guilt, survival and loss against a background of elemental terror and beauty" (Daily Telegraph)

"Arresting" (Metro)

"The tale is deftly woven with an air of immediacy and a visceral, intimate feel, drawing heavily on Simpson's mountaineering experiences" (Evening Post)

Book Description

A thrilling and moving new novel from the acclaimed author of Touching the Void.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 20 Oct 2011
By Hightop
It has been a long time since I picked up a work of fiction and have been so captivated by the writing. I wasn't familiar with this author and picked up the book idly whilst browsing. I bought it straight away and read it in three sittings. As with the other reviewer, to comment further on the synopsis would be to ruin the story, so I won't do that but I will say that this book is beautifully written and constructed. You won't want to put it down. The character of Patrick is highly developed and it seems that you really see the depths of his thoughts.

Thoroughly enjoyable and recommended. It is refreshing to find a modern novel that is both beautifully written and with a good story line as opposed to many modern novels that are purely concerned with art for art's sake.

Great story, wonderfully written. That's all that need be said.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An isolated man 9 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I actually found this quite a tough read in two respects. The first chapter which deals with the death of Patrick's climbing partner on the mountain was maybe a little graphic for me. Not to the degree that I couldn't read it but some might find it hard. The other minus is that parts of it were extremely descriptive and wordy for me and I must stress that I do mean for me - others may well appreciate it, however I felt it slowed the story down.

Allowing those points I thought it was a remarkable story and very powerfully written. Patrick, after his loss on the mountain, stays at the mountain hut as a voluntary warden and most of the book focusses on a time there 25 years after the death of his climbing partner. I found myself completely and satisfyingly wrapped up in his life and story. A powerful, worthwhile story for lovers of mountains and wild places with a good psychological insight into personal loss.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imagination has no boundaries 28 Nov 2011
By Richard M. Seel VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I chose this book, it was because I was clearly remembering the wonderful descriptions of mountainous areas which Joe Simpson had written about in 'Touching the Void'. I am delighted to say that in this book Simpson does not let me down. I have never been able to climb a mountain but Simpson is able to draw such pictures for me, that I feel that I too have seen rocks, crevasses, snow, and experienced amazing death defying mountain gales and avalanches.

And there is a moving story as well. A young man's life is changed when his girl friend plunges to her death during a storm on a mountain. They had been sleeping on a ledge, hoping to weather out the storm when she falls, not having been securely fastened to the mountain ledge. The telling of her falling is so vivid, one could imagine it happening and how we might have felt. But worse is the blame the young man attaches to himself. He is buffeted by the storm but eventually arrives at the security of a hut high on a mountain slope.

Later in life he becomes the volunteer warden and spends most of his time in the hut and makes it his home. He is able to rescue other mountaineers until one evening, with a storm brewing, climbers from the village bring back down the body of a man who has had a heart attach. Also returning to the village are two climbers, the man angry with the woman as she wanted to return and he did not. Eventually there is an amazing storm and the rest you will have to read for yourself.

This a novel of beauty encompassing man's frailty and his inability to forgive himself. I found it difficult to put down and was sorry when it ended. I had not realised Simpson also wrote novels and I shall certainly look out for him in the future.

[Review by Shirleyanne Seel]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling reading 9 Nov 2011
By P. A. Pendrey VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
'He held his breath as she died'..... the opening words to this very powerful story of love, loss and guilt.

A man, Patrick, stranded on a storm swept moutainside overcome with grief yet he has to combat the force of nature to survive.

Year after year Patrick returns to the mountain until he meets and assists a sick and exhausted young woman, Cassie. Cassie is with him as he faces the possibility, with an an approaching storm, of history repeating itself and another tragedy.

To say more of the story would spoil it for the prospective reader. However, it is written in a splendid descriptive manner and the reader is made to see both the beauty and harshness of mountains and treacherous conditions faced by those who have the desire to climb. The characters come alive and the reader can feel every emotion, such is the skill of the author.

Joe Simpson, author, is certainly writing from personal experience and does it extremely well. The film Touching the Void is drawn from Joe Simpson's book of the same name.

An ideal read when sat by a warm fire.

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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I won't add much more to the synopsis but... 28 Sep 2011
It is always hard to praise a work of fiction without giving much of a plot away and spoil a firsthand experience a reader would otherwise have. I won't add much more to the synopsis but would tell you this: it is very moving, beautifully written and if you have a bit of spare time can be read in one or two sittings. The impact is of course longer and if you haven't read other works of the author you would rush to get them straight away. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed!!!!!
The style of writing was really amateur'ish. My 7 year old daughter could have done better to be honest. The book was boring and it just went on and on!!!! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story by a great writer
Book in very good condition, good delivery time, my favourite writer. All mountaineers to read this! Very gripping reading, keeps the tension to the end.
Published 4 months ago by d westdyk
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth reading
The second novel from a professional alpinist. The book opens with a shocking scene: a man named Patrick, the main character, wakes up because his wife catches him in an attempt to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ray Garraty
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Start
Joe's first novel and a promising start. As an avid reader of all of Joe's previous books I looked forward in anticipation to reading his first venture into the fiction arena. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cad
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sound of Gravity
A deeply moving & surprisingly gripping novel bearing in mind in deals with the loss of the main characters wife in a fall in the mountains. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Diana Birch
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Captivating!
This novel is truly brilliant - I couldn't put it down. Part 1 and you are on a rollercoaster ride of being in a blizzard on the side of a mountain at death's door. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Guns&RosesStillRuleOK
5.0 out of 5 stars Joe is a great writer
Joe Simpson wrote one of the finest books ever in "Touching the void". This book has similar themes, and he handles his first published attempt at fiction with great... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Sue Harris
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Like many reviewers I have read all of Joe's other books and liked them but this was very disappointing. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Andy7
5.0 out of 5 stars Once more to the ice
This was an excellent follow on from Touching the Void, although this time fiction. It gripped, was mysterious, and the character was believable although I was never quite sure... Read more
Published 12 months ago by K. Steele
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Unlike Joe Simpsons other books, I didn't 'get into it' untill several chapters through. But when I did, it wasn't long until I was gripped. Read more
Published 14 months ago by SH
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