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The Voices Paperback – 4 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; New Ed edition (4 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841152021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841152028
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 985,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘Dazzling…For sheer narrative invention she is without an equal.’ Stevie Davies, Independent

‘The writing style is energetic and zappy… original, cleverly imagined.’ Tamsin Dean, Sunday Telegraph

‘Outstanding novel, among the best I have read for years.’ Spectator

‘What is remarkable is Elderkin's ability to conjure up the Australian outback with such confidence… a book to be admired.' Guardian

‘Susan Elderkinos first novel “Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains”, won her a devoted following. “The Voices” doesn’t disappoint.’ Time Out

From the Back Cover

(Front cover)

A GRANTA BEST OF BRITISH NOVELIST

THE VOICES
Susan Elderkin

''Beautifully written and utterly absorbing… Brilliant.'
Cressida Connolly, Telegraph

(Back cover)

'Tender, sensual and genuinely original… Elderkin is a great talent.'
Maggie Gee, Sunday Times

Thirteen-year-old Billy is a dreamer. Introverted at home and ignored at school, he wanders alone in the remote, blood-red landscape of the Australian bush, dreaming of roos. But one day Billy hears the haunting song of an Aboriginal girl. Her beautiful voice tugs at something deep, something larger and more powerful than himself, and he is destined to love her forever.

In an Alice Springs hospital ten years later, recovering from gruesome wounds of mysterious origin, Billy tries to explain the voices in his head. But only Cecily, the Aboriginal nurse, will listen…

'Brilliant. The confused, uncommunicative Billy is a wonderful creation and the depiction of Aboriginal life at the beginning of the 21st century is heartbreaking and very funny.'
Cressida Connolly, Telegraph

'For sheer narrative invention, she is without an equal.'
Stevie Davies, Independent

'Delicate, powerful and strange.'
Eve

£7.99
1-84115-202-1

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 July 2003
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book on London's South Bank in my lunchtimes, I was transported everyday to the Kimberley region of Australia where this book is set. The heat, the Aussie blokes, the wild women, the traumatised kids and the spirits were all around me - but nothing like the Wind. The Wind is one of the main Voices in this book and to read it on a hot summer's day with the English wind whistling around me, it could have easily have been the Australian wind in this book talking and laughing with me.
The Voices is written from many points of view, I found it unlike anything I've read before. It's a story that you feel priviliged to be reading, to be part of. You feel like you are looking into many lives and they can't see you. It's like you are one of the Voices, a silent one.
In this day of the 'text-book written' novel, it is a rare thing to find a book like this. It is such an original reading experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback
This is simply a cracking book. Elderkin creates amazing visual images through her prose that it forces you to pause, take a deep breath and wonder at her talent for painting such stark, beautiful and vast landscapes with so few words. My advice is to read it slowly, take your time to absorb every word because this is a book you won't want to end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One thing about Susan Elderkin - she certainly doesn't stick to tame topics, or believe that as a British writer she should write about Britain. Her first novel 'Sunset over the Chocolate Mountains' (which is on my to read pile) was set in the Mexican desert, this, her second, is set in the West Australian outback, and deals with the lives of Australia's dirt poor, and with the supernatural, in the form of strange aboriginal spirits.

Billy Saint grows up in a tiny, going-nowhere town in the middle of the outback. Much of his schooling comes via correspondence courses on the radio, and he has few friends. His father Stan, a panel-beater, is an amiable drunk, his mother Crystal a languid depressive who constantly wonders why she left Sydney to come to West Australia, and who spends her days day-dreaming and smoking. By the time Billy is a teenager, she's drifted into an affair with Stevo, a handsome half-aboriginal garage proprietor, who, like Stan, enjoys a drink. Billy feels increasingly more at home in the wild and with kangaroos than with people. And his wanderings in the outback attract a strange group of aboriginal spirits who haunt the area round the town, and a mysterious 'spirit child' called Maisie, who befriends Billy, calling him 'Wallamba' (Kangaroo-boy). One day, Maisie persuades the adolescent Billy to take her out deep into the outback - while they are together, something happens which profoundly disturbs Billy, who returns home a changed boy, and soon after leaves the town to go and work as a miner.

A few years later, Billy ends up in hospital, suffering mysterious wounds. He will say little about his injuries (or an incident involving an American tourist that followed) other than that he is pursued by voices.
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