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Sound: A Memoir of Hearing Lost and Found (Wellcome) Hardcover – 4 May 2017
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A book to remind us to treasure the gift of sound. (Laura Freeman Times 2017-05-06)
Fascinating ... Bathurst is a restless, curious writer, and she interweaves the story of her own experiences with imaginative research around hearing and sound ... After reading this book, I found myself listening in a richer and more interested way. (Alice O'Keeffe Guardian 2017-05-06)
This is a moving and fascinating book, all about sound and what it means to be human. It has its share of sound and fury, and benefits from a journalist's ability to listen. Many people with hearing loss, and more without, would benefit from hearing its message. (Katy Guest FT 2017-05-20)
A hymn to the faculty of hearing ... written with passion and intelligence ... a brave and important work (Rupert Christiansen Literary Review 2017-05-01)
An empathetic, sensitive look at how a physical loss can transform both the way you understand the world and how you live in it. (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express 2017-05-14)
An engaging blend of memoir, biography and history (Woman and Home 2017-06-08)
Fascinating and illuminating ... an eminently readable tour through the world of hearing loss that deserves a wide readership. (Liz Thomson The Arts Desk 2017-05-14)
Bathurst paints a vivid picture ... By writing this heartfelt book, she has helped to alleviate the sense of isolation (suffered by the deafened). (Ysenda Maxtone Graham Country Life 2017-05-24)
A poignant exploration ... terrific (Helen Brown Daily Telegraph 2017-05-27)
Praise for Bella Bathurst:
'Bella Bathurst has built a lamp herself: it illuminates the work of a literary hero, a family business, a habit of mind and a Scottish period ... from the summit of this first terrific book she looks to become one of the best biographers of her generation'
An astonishing personal journey from hearing to deafness and back again helps Bella Bathurst explore what sound, listening and music mean to usSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The author's hearing began to decline in her late twenties. She had to increasingly struggle with aids. She was ashamed of her disability. Bathurst explains in detail what she could discern and what was muddled. Life for her became a game of strategies and evasions.
She informs us that more mental issues are associated with deafness than with any other disabilities. Deafness and depression often go hand in hand. Bathurst became so depressed that she once asked a hospital to section her.
She visited Beethoven's birthplace in order to examine his ear trumpet. Her meeting with the son of George Martin of Beatle's fame who suffered from deafness is enlightening for her, and she developed an interest in acoustics in the construction industry.
This reviewer was particularly interested in what she says about deafness in the military. She relates an interview with General Sir Peter de la Billiere. He was C in C of British forces in the Gulf War. The General tells her that the Ministry of Defence is currently attempting to downplay a potential crisis, namely the enormous cost of compensating a large number of soldiers deafened by exposure to noise levels above 160 decibels, a level that bursts eardrums.
Amazingly, Bella's hearing is restored as a result of her audiologist discovering its cause. A bone growth in her middle ear was stopping sound waves from resonating on the tympanum. An operation in France was successful. Bathurst ends by giving us a very moving account of attending a concert by the Berlin Philarmonic. She describes how the music poured in like a waterfall.
The book is a salutary reminder to young people in particular of the danger of listening to pounding music over long periods. It is a major cause of tinnitus, a very debilitating complaint for which there is no cure.
I felt that this book kept up a high level of interest - and variety in terms of what it would deal with next - though I didn't find every single chapter of this book equally gripping...I would strongly recommend it to others.
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