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Vox  By  cover art

Vox

By: Christina Dalcher
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
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Publisher's summary

The national best seller

One of Entertainment Weekly's and SheReads' books to read after The Handmaid's Tale 

"[An] electrifying debut.” (O, The Oprah Magazine

“The real-life parallels will make you shiver.” (Cosmopolitan

Set in a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke 16,000 words a day, but now women have only 100 to make themselves heard.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. 

This is just the beginning...not the end. 

One of Good Morning America's “Best Books to Bring to the Beach This Summer”

One of PopSugar, Refinery29, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Real Simple, i09, and Amazon's Best Books to Read in August 2018.

©2018 Christina Dalcher (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Narrator Julia Whelan brings this realistic, thought-provoking debut to life with heart.... A frighteningly believable story that ends with hope." (AudioFile)

Editorial Review

100 Words…is the length of this paragraph!

Vox has a great hook: what if women could speak only 100 words each day? But men and boys aren’t limited *at all*? Well, at the start of the novel, our heroine, Dr. Jean McClellan, is pretty tired from holding in all her thoughts and feelings…and resentful of her own beloved husband and sons. In the tradition of The Handmaid’s Tale, Vox makes dystopia feel contemporary and plausible. Although the novel is a little long, and I disagree with some of Jean’s choices, I enjoyed the performance by Julia Whelan, one of my favorite narrators. She makes every word count! —Christina H., Audible Editor

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Please ignore the negative reviews.

Most of the negative reviews are from Christians who don’t like what they hear. If the religion of the bad people in this book had been, say, Muslim, then there would be five stars all over the place!

The book is interesting. It leaves you with more questions than answers, however. On a small scale, it is an interesting social experiment. Is it possible in America? Probably not. But it also rings true in a lot of senses.

At the end of the day, Vox probably deserves 3.5-4 stars, but I chose to give it the full five stars to offset the obvious poo-pooing of all the offended Christians who don’t think this book is appropriate. Religion, ALL religion, has dark sides. Survivors of the LDS cults in Utah and Arizona would agree, I think.

If you decide to read Vox, just buckle up and enjoy the ride! If nothing else, it will make you think. What is the true end that religious zealots desire in this country? I have a feeling that more than a few would enjoy the idea of women being seen and not heard.

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106 people found this helpful

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Can't even get past the first couple of chapters!

I was really excited yesterday when I noticed this new book. The premise looked very interesting. A dystopian story about women who can only speak 100 words a day. Wow! how will this play out? Well, I don't know because very early on you find out that Christianity is the reason for the entire silencing of Women. Not some wacko cult group or a few bad apples that are power hungry but the entire establishment of religion and, of course, white men. I just couldn't stomach much of this book. I read that this book is comparable to The Handmaids Tale. Well, its NOT!

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77 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

Gender stereotypes
Cultural stereotypes
Ethnic stereotypes
I wanted to like this book, but I found it too predictable filled with cliches.

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51 people found this helpful

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Handmaid wanna be

Story is unrealistic. Limiting women to 100 words per day is pointless. How would a women who is to keep house and raise children function without words? A lot of science in this book which does not seem possible. At least with the handmaid tale the treatment of the citizens of Gilead seems plausible

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The Handmaid’s Tale But about our words

Vox was recommended to me by a teacher friend. She told me if I like Handmaid’s Tale, I’d love this. What she described; a dystopia where women are not used for sex or child rearing, but as nearly mute slaves to a patriarchal government... I was in for the whole ride.
The one downside to this book is that it keeps you angry the whole time, which is great when facing injustices and trying to punch Nazis, not great when you’re trying to do mundane tasks like order coffee or clean the house.

Be careful of the ending. It’s... it’s something we have all seen in books done to men, so I like the trope switch... but it still feels like lazy writing, even if it is done pointedly so.

Wonderful book, will be recommending to every woman and man I can talk to.

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A successful book for all the wrong reasons

Moral of the story: Women should blame religious conservatives for their problems.

Before I start ranting about everything wrong with this book, I just want to take a moment to mention it’s 1 redeeming quality: it’s a quick read.

And now...

While Dread Nation was cashing in on social relevance, and Children of Blood and Bone was riding the success of Black Panther (although the hype surrounding it kind of hid that fact). Vox one-ups them by doing both at the same time. Capitalizing on feminism, and unashamedly riding the success of The Handmaid’s Tale.

When I explained the premise of Vox to a coworker of mine, even she said: “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” Yep, a girl said that. Her exact words.

Women are only allowed to speak 100 words per day, and exceeding that limit results in an electric shock from a mechanical wristband keeping track of said words. ...and that’s about as far as the story concept went. The author knew she wanted to write a story about women being oppressed, which is fine. But seriously? THAT’S what you came up with. This book would’ve been better off going with some Planet of the Apes style nonsense, where the protagonist finds herself in a new land where women aren’t just oppressed, but are full on enslaved. If anything it would’ve been more exciting.

And yet somehow, the basic premise of the story isn’t even its biggest flaw.

The world building in this is unbelievable, and not in the good way. I mean it’s literally NOT believable. Even ignoring the absurdity that our society would allow such a drastic change in civil rights given our current real world views, it’s world building at its absolute worst. And for those of you who are saying “but it’s not our world, it’s a dystopian society,” keep reading.

The first half of this book is littered with pop culture references, from FIOS to the iPhone, from South Park to Pokémon Go. It even throws in real life historical events such as the Nazis and Rwanda. Having all of these real world inclusions only breaks down the illusion of a dystopian society. I think it’s fair to say that if women’s speech we’re limited to such an extreme, we wouldn’t have a lot of the things we enjoy today and history would’ve played out a lot differently.

It’s almost like, instead of actually taking the time to world build, the author just decided to take our real world and give it a new reality. Except her new reality doesn’t make sense within the world she’s trying to fit it into. (I think that made sense).

Also, a side-note that was just kind of bugging me: If the church, and/or a religious faction, were able to amass so much power as to be able to remove the constitutional rights of women, I’m pretty sure, of all things, South Park probably wouldn’t be around anymore.

Given the timeframe this book is coming out, I don’t doubt it will be a success. But I do believe it will be for the wrong reasons.

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Great concept but the end felt rushed

I really enjoyed the concept of this story but the dialogue was unnatural and the end felt like the author just got in a hurry to wrap things up; I don’t want to give it away but- I felt the author should have spent more time with it. Too rushed- so rushed that some things just left me going, “but wait- why did they do that and how did they get from here to there ??”

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don't waste your time

a mediocre book made downright awful by an incredibly stupid ending. handmaid's tale ripoff. the narrator was pretty good though

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Quite disparaging towards Louisianans

The lack of tolerance is clear in this writing. The author attacks certain segments of the population in an unrelenting fashion. Disguising political motivation in a far-fetching dystopian tale doesn't make this story interesting or thought provoking.
Ms. Whelan is again, most excellent, and the best thing about this audio.

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Couldn't stop listening

I very much enjoyed this book. The story was engaging and the narrator was wonderful at making the main character feel like she really was telling you this crazy story. I found myself, more than once, looking forward to the commute to and from work since it would give me ample time to jump back into "it" ;-)

We've seen how quick a cult mentality can work its way into large swaths of the country. We've seen how religion can be held like a sword against those whom it deems in opposition of its take of morality. We've seen how fast a single group can label themselves the only right and never wrong so you better do as I say and fall in line. We have seen the silencing of human beings by those who think they know better.

So no. I do not agree at all with some of the reviews that scream "She's attacking religion!" "It's leftist propaganda!" "Blah blah, I see myself tagged in this picture and I don't like it blah blah"

It is a story that begs you to watch what happens in the world and take a stand against the subjugation of others. It says to the reader, your voice can be taken away if you just stand by and let it happen.

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9 people found this helpful