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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Scary
The Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series kicks off 2002 with Jonathan Carroll's follow-up novel to The Land of Laughs (Masterworks No.9). If your idea of fantasy reaches no further than a few goblins, elves and sword-wielding barbarians then you may be wondering why this contemporary novel of revenge from beyond the grave (or is it? Answers on a postcard please.) has been...
Published on 13 Jan. 2002 by J. L. Probert

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves
This book is very much made up of two halves, and a very disappointing ending. The first half (or more accurately first two-thirds) contains no fantastical elements whatsoever, being an examination of the emotional journeys of the three main characters as they deal with love and guilt. This part of the book is almost flawless; the emotions feel real, there's a real...
Published on 18 Jan. 2009 by C. Reynolds


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Scary, 13 Jan. 2002
By 
J. L. Probert - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
The Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series kicks off 2002 with Jonathan Carroll's follow-up novel to The Land of Laughs (Masterworks No.9). If your idea of fantasy reaches no further than a few goblins, elves and sword-wielding barbarians then you may be wondering why this contemporary novel of revenge from beyond the grave (or is it? Answers on a postcard please.) has been included in Gollancz's fine series. Fortunately for us, it would seem as if this publisher is aiming to ambrace as broad a range of classic fantasy as possible in this series of reprints, and that can only be a good thing. Essentially, if you thought that his first novel was a masterpiece (as I did), then you're going to be similarly blown away with this heady melange of jealousy, eroticism, adultery and hauntings. Also as in Land of Laughs, be prepared for the last couple of pages to give you a shocking jolt, leaving you with a tale which stays with you long after you've read the last of its 190 pages. Proof that novels don't always need to be 600 pages long to leave a lasting impression. If you're a fan of dark fantasy then buy it to treat yourself, and to encourage the people at Gollancz to continue with their sterling work
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming of age, 2 Feb. 2004
By 
Andy Barkham "pandion1" (1picard) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
I only read this novel as it was in the Fantasy Masterworks series. As such, when I was halfway through, I was wondering why it was there. The novel itself was interesting - a well penned story of a man growing up after a childhood trauma in which he is involved in his older, bullying brothers death. This leads to his escaping from America and fleeing his past to start a new life in Vienna. There he meets a couple, and falls in love with the married woman.
Up to that point the story is fairly standard - though the characters are well drawn and the settings deftly described. Then the book twists and the supernatural begins to appear. Nothing gross or over the top - just a subtle infusion as our percetion is slowly skewed from the normal to the paranormal. As the novel continues, the supernatural plays a background role - more background than expected, but effective never the less, untilthe quite stunning climax.
A superbly crafted novel. Well written, characters well drawn and well crafted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars master storyteller at work, 11 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
The world is divided into those that know JC's work and those that don't. He is a master story teller of the old school. You can imagine hearing his tales around an atmospheric midnight campfire in the woods. There's a real humanity to his characters, and his story lines always surprise and move. Voice of Our Shadow is one of the more evocative of his books right up there with Outside the Dog Museum, and After Silence. Read this, read them all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle fantasy, 30 Sept. 2007
By 
Mikko Saari (Tampere, Finland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Voice of Our Shadow is the story of Joe Lennox. As a kid, he kills his delinquent brother, kind of accidentally, but manages to suppress the guilt. He turns his brother's story into a short story. The story is made into a play, making enough money for Joe so he can move to Vienna to live a life as a writer.

In Vienna, he learns to love the city, meets some friend and finds love - but unfortunately in a wrong place, with a wrong person. Soon Joe has another death on his conscience. A nightmare begins, as the fantastical elements of this story come to life. The story has elements of horror and supernatural.

Jonathan Carroll has written a beautiful and fast-moving book. It's not my favourite of his work, but even a weaker Carroll book is still a good one. Worth reading, but don't start with this is you're new to the world of Jonathan Carroll.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Damn you Carroll, why must your stories fall flat?, 14 Jan. 2014
By 
Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
I was prepared to write a review for this book which would be seriously glowing and champion it as superior to the other book of his which I read and reviewed, The Land of Laughs.

However, like that other book this is compelling throughout but with a flat finish, almost like the author simply grew tired of writing and opted for the most predictable adn disappointingly formulaic finish.

It is such a shame because the style and pace is brilliant, the book is littered with observations of everyday life, the everyday ordinary is made extraordinary by being brought into sharp focus. This really does have the effect of priming the reader for a big finsih which does not arrive.

There are fantasy aspects, woven brilliantly into the narrative in a manner not many authors can achieve which makes the supernatural appear more plausible but ultimately I was left thinking whether or not this book is fantasy at all or a kind of psychological novel.

There is room for reflection, even discussion, of whether or not this or that plot twist or development is a sign of burgeoning madness or ghosts and haunting which I know many people think is the mark of a great book but I am not convinced myself. Carroll's clearly got great talent and it sort of feels like he prepares the reader for a big finish which doesnt arrive on schedule (something I thought was wrong with Land of Laughs too).

So I can recommend this book but I do think that anyone reading it is likely to feel let down by how it ends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and unsettling tale, 30 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Joe Lennox makes a new life for himself as a writer in Vienna after his mother and brother die in his homeland of the United States. Joe finds good friends in the engaging married couple of Paul and India Tate, who take him under their wing and enliven what had been a somewhat solitary existence. But there is trouble ahead as Joe finds himself increasingly attracted to India.

This novel is gripping from the first page thanks to Carroll's highly-engaging writing style. Carroll's prose is both readable and believable and kept me speedily turning the pages here. Though this edition is part of the "Fantasy Masterworks" series, much of the book is written as a "straight" literary novel and the "fantasy" and supernatural elements only come into play towards the end of the book. I found the change of tone effective and genuinely unsettling.

Carroll finishes this story with a headspinning denouement. I had expected a final twist in what was already a slightly twisted tale but Carroll either pushes the boundaries brilliantly, or conjures up a spectacular ending out of nowhere that whilst certainly creepy and unsettling, doesn't entirely convince in the context of all that has gone before. My problem here is that I can't make up my mind which of these is true, or whether I loved the ending or hated it. Nevertheless, safe to say that it spooked me as I woke up at 4am with the images and ideas from the final pages of "Voice of our Shadow" running through my mind.

Recommended if you enjoy well-written fiction that messes with your mind.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Succinct, creepy, insightful, 31 Jan. 2003
By 
N. Clarke (Lancs, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is a wonderfully original and understated novel: a coming-of-age story with a mystery at its heart, embellished with fantasy elements that become stronger and more integral as the book heads to its conclusion. Unlike much fantasy writing these days, there's no unnecessary padding here; rather, you're left wanting more.
The setting, Vienna, is evoked with a nicely economic style, while the (few) characters come to life naturally through their words and actions. The creeping unease builds gradually, and is never overdone - and the ending packs a considerable punch. Fabulous. You can read it in an evening - go on!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves, 18 Jan. 2009
By 
C. Reynolds "Chris Reynolds" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This book is very much made up of two halves, and a very disappointing ending. The first half (or more accurately first two-thirds) contains no fantastical elements whatsoever, being an examination of the emotional journeys of the three main characters as they deal with love and guilt. This part of the book is almost flawless; the emotions feel real, there's a real connection and likeability to the main characters, the setting of a wintry Vienna is beautifully described and evoked.
After a tragedy, things take a sudden turn when fantastical elements are brought in: ghosts in this case, which are often the supernatural creatures of choice to represent guilt. This part of the book, though still good, felt less real to me because of the fantasy elements, and I felt less able to sympathise with the emotions of the main characters when they tried to deal with the supernatural than I would have had they just been dealing with guilt which is what the supernatural events were a metaphor for in the first place, so I think the choice to bring in magical realism worked to the detriment of this part of the book. Maybe if there had been an element of the fantastical all the way through it wouldn't have felt so strange.
Finally, two pages or so from the end, the book breaks out a massive twist that invalidates the emotional journey of two the characters, and suddenly means that the rest of the book must be seen as a endless series of supernatural events which don't make any sense in context, especially considering their perpetrators. This ending seems to have been put in solely to end on a sudden horrific note, but it really soured the ending for me, as if Carroll didn't know how to end it. I read an interview where he talks about never knowing what will happen to his characters as he writes to create a feeling of uncertainty, but it would be probably have been better if he had at least had a basic plan of where the characters should end up, to avoid messes like this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant fantasy/horror novel!, 10 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is one of the best by Jonathan Carroll. I love the way he combines fantasy and horror elements into his intricate story lines. Undoubtedly my favourtie author XD
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great service, 7 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Did not expect such a quick arrival - very pleased with that. As described. Very happy with this purchase. Would definately recommend it.
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Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
Voice of our Shadow (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) by Jonathan Carroll (Paperback - 10 Jan. 2002)
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