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The Chimes by Anna Smaill
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A book of contrasts: charming and disturbing; exciting and slow building; post-apocalyptic and brand new. With no real memories, just the day-to-day habits of life and work, how do people understand who they are? Where they come from? Why they do what they do? Into this unsettling version of London comes a boy who can hold his memories stronger than most and he meets another with truly remarkable gifts. Most of the imagery and metaphor is derived from music, for example moving presto or lento for fast and slow. This gives an interesting rhythm to the prose. The world is ruled by music but the music is not kind. The narrator is fascinating, leading the reader through a slow build-up to a startlingly abrupt ending. It really got under my skin. An excellent book.

If you like Anna Smaill you might also like to read books by Jane Rushbridge, Ali Shaw and Jane Rushbridge.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

The Chimes by Anna Smaill

'The Chimes is a remarkable debut. It's inventive, beautifully written, and completely absorbing. I highly recommend it.' Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds A mind-expanding literary debut composed of memory, music and imagination. A boy stands on the roadside on his way to London, alone in the rain. No memories, beyond what he can hold in his hands at any given moment. No directions, as written words have long since been forbidden. No parents - just a melody that tugs at him, a thread to follow. A song that says if he can just get to the capital, he may find some answers about what happened to them. The world around Simon sings, each movement a pulse of rhythm, each object weaving its own melody, music ringing in every drop of air. Welcome to the world of The Chimes. Here, life is orchestrated by a vast musical instrument that renders people unable to form new memories. The past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphony. But slowly, inexplicably, Simon is beginning to remember. He emerges from sleep each morning with a pricking feeling, and sense there is something he urgently has to do. In the city Simon meets Lucien, who has a gift for hearing, some secrets of his own, and a theory about the danger lurking in Simon's past. A stunning debut composed of memory, music, love and freedom, The Chimes pulls you into a world that will captivates, enthrals and inspires.

Reviews

'The Chimes is a remarkable debut. It's inventive, beautifully written, and completely absorbing. I highly recommend it.'
Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

About the Author

Anna Smaill

Anna Smaill is a classically trained violinist and published poet. Born in Auckland in 1979, she holds an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters (Wellington), an MA in English Literature from the University of Auckland and a PhD in contemporary American poetry from University College London. She is the author of one book of poetry (The Violinist in Spring, VUP 2005) and her poems have been published and anthologised in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She has lived and worked in both Tokyo and London, and now lives in New Zealand with her husband, novelist Carl Shuker, and their daughter.

Author photo © Natalie Graham

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Anna Smaill

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Author's Website

www.annasmaill.com/
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Publisher

Format

Hardback

Categories

Literary Fiction
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ISBN

9781444794526

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