The Silent Land is a brooding and tender look at love and whether it can survive the greatest challenge we will ever face. The film rights have been optioned by the producer of Brokeback Mountain.
A young couple are caught in an avalanche during a skiing holiday in the French Alps. They struggle back to the village and find it deserted. As the days go by they wait for rescue, and then try to leave. But each time they find themselves back in the village. And, increasingly, they are plagued by visions and dreams and the realization that perhaps no one could have survived the avalanche.
Read by John Lee. British narrator John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian, and from the very real life of Napoleon to the entirely imagined lives of sorcerers and swashbucklers. He has won numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile in 2009. Lee is also an accomplished stage actor and wrote and coproduced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit.
I chose this audiobook on the strength of the other enthusiastic reviews. I can't quite believe we all listened to the same book. The narration was dire - toneless and irritating, especially when the narrator did the female 'voice'. The story was depressing, predictable and boring - and so slow! It just went on and on endlessly with nothing much happening except spending time with the most irritating and unattractive couple. We kept being told of their love, but frankly I didn't see much evidence. Jake was pretty obnoxious to Zoe, undermining her all the time. Ten years married? I'm surprised she stayed with him!
The writing was pretty poor too, over-descriptive, and packed with metaphors that I'm sure the author was pleased with himself for dreaming up but which should have been excised by a decent editor. There were unnecessary Americansims (for example, most people I know call the boot of a car the boot and not the trunk). And the language was fairly crude, presumably in an attempt to make the characters seem convincingly youthful, but they came across as ignorant and unrealistic.
Not recommended. I persevered to the end, but wish I could have those 6 hours back.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I sort of guessed half way through what had happened but I was kept in suspense. Going skiing for the first time soon so the reading of it was apposite. The eerie atmosphere kept my attention but my enquiring mind kept asking questions of the plot, but I had to suspend reality to get back to enjoying this yarn.
listened to it within 24 hours, great winter holiday distraction
Mark from Enfield
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Silent Land again? Why?
I would! The claustrophobic world of snow was utterly compelling.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I loved both of them and the way they loved each other was touching and very powerful.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
So many...all of them.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
There's more out there than the snow!
Any additional comments?
Joyce is a wonderful writer, hugely underrated. I could pick up any of his novels and trust him to deliver a confident and compelling story. He is a great loss.