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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars47
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle EditionChange
Price:£4.99
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on 28 December 2011
I review few books, and those that I do review tend to be duffers or great reads. This is definitely a great read.
A good, simple flowing story-line; very well written characters, Zoe especially. The author's descriptive prose is excellent, and brought the alpine settings to life.
The ending is a dead give-away, especially if you read the poem at the start, from where the title is drawn. It is still a great read, and I recommend it with no reservations.
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on 22 April 2012
I purchased this book on a whim and im so glad I did. This book is awe inspiring to people who take our world for granted. There are 2 people in this book that seem to me who want to make everything ok .From there darkest secrets to there hidden desires. Really made me stay up all night and read it
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I enjoyed reading 'The Silent Land', but now only a few days later, I'm struggling to remember much about it. Certainly it is very easy read; a book that draws you in and propels you towards its conclusion, but the details of its events are already hazy.

The novel's central premise is not a new one. Two skiers are caught in an avalanche. After digging themselves free they return to their hotel only to find it, and the rest of the town, entirely deserted. Assuming the village has been evacuated, Zoe and Jake try to make their way down the mountain to the next settlement only to find themselves back where they started. No matter what method of transport they use, they cannot leave. Soon they notice that food doesn't rot, and candles don't burn, bringing them to the conclusion that they are both dead.

Since Jake makes this observation in the first quarter of the novel, it is obvious that this isn't the full story. Zoe and Jake are happily married, but like all marriages there are tensions between them, and days of enforced seclusion starts to take its toll, affecting them both in different ways. Zoe has a secret that she was going to reveal on the trip, but should she still do so? When is going to be the right time? Is there any point if they are dead? Joyce sets up the dynamic nicely and as the couple both start having hallucinations, the bounds of their love and trust are put to the test. Their memories of events since the accident become jumbled, as do recollections from before, and both characters become increasingly disoriented. There is a palpable sense of uncertainty and paranoia, that compels you to read on, and the subject of marriage and love is handled with such tenderness, it is easy to become wrapped in the emotional side of the story.

Less compelling is the dialogue, and actions of his characters. Jake in particular, doesn't talk like a real person, and whilst much of what goes unsaid between the two is very good, in conversation Zoe and Jake's don't seem like a married couple. Without wanting to give too much away, Zoe's excessive consumption of alcohol doesn't marry at all with some of her other actions, and for me it destroyed the power of one of the novel's central themes. The way the novel is constructed there are very few plausible outcomes, so the novel's conclusion is all too easy to predict. That said, Joyce does deliver an emotive and fitting finale.

'The Silent Land' is a readable mystery-cum-ghost story and one of the better 'isolated by snow' thrillers I have read (which is a surprisingly large number). Through flawed, it is entertaining, often reminiscent of a good Stephen King novel, but ultimately it is all too forgettable. It's less than a week now since I read the 'Silent Land' much like the half-dreamed hallucinations of its characters, I'm struggling to recall what happened, and I have feeling that within a month the whole thing will fade to white...
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on 3 May 2011
I read this book in two days as it really does grip you from the outset. The strangeness of feeling makes it obvious that there will be a kind of Shymalan style 'twist' but this really isn't what it's about. There are creepy moments especially the overall isolation of the characters in the hotel - I thought of 'The Shining'. This is not a horror, though it has supernatural elements and is a quite lovely book, simple yet satisfying as a short read.
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on 4 September 2011
After reading the reviews I was sure that I would really enjoy this book. It sounded like it was well written and a little bit spooky, just the thing to curl up with in the evening. I was so excited when it arrived and I settled down to read. It started slowly but some good books do so I persevered. It continued to be slow and by this point I was getting a little bored to be honest. Long story short I got over half way through the book and still nothing of significance had happened, nothing spooky or ominous, nothing even remotely original or exciting. I carried on reading hoping that things would get better. They didn't. Obviously I am in the minority as many reviews are positive but I wanted to warn people so they don't waste their money like I did. This book is slow, very slow and not really that well written. There is no atmosphere created. I really didn't like this book at all and I read a lot (not all of it that great.) I usually try to find a positive but my overall feeling about this book is just as described above, a very dull read.
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on 23 January 2011
I couldnt put this book down. It was a real page turner, which i read during all the recent wintery weather we had, that made it all the more authentic.

Because there was only 2 main characters in it, you really found yourself relating to them.

This book is a really nice easy flowing book that you wont want to put down and the plot really draws you in right from the very first page.
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on 7 January 2013
Enjoyable read. Well written, which is a necessity for me, and real enough characters. Only minor complaint is that the denouement was pretty well sign-posted about half way through.
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on 25 April 2014
Love it, love it, couldn't put it down .. the only thing was that I figured out quickly what was happening and was a bit dessapointed that I didn't have the a surprise at the end.
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on 13 February 2014
A fascinating mystery and a brilliant read from start to finish with a surprise ending. This is my kind of book.Recommended.
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on 7 January 2011
The Silent Land is a good erie novel that kept me turning the pages - this isn't a shabby trick to pull off in a novel which is mostly focused on just two characters. Recommended.
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