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The Chimes by [Smaill, Anna]
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The Chimes Kindle Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 305 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

WINNER OF THE 2016 WORLD FANTASY AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2015 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

An Elle Book of the Year

An Independent Book of the Year

One to Watch Independent on Sunday

A Bookseller Best Debut of 2015

One to Watch 2015 Huffington Post

An Amazon Rising Star

'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 captivate, enthral and inspire.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2327 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (12 February 2015)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00PRWKLGY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,711 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Highly original; a love story to music. Gobsmacking lay good first half, plot driven, disappointing second half.
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'The Chimes' by Anna Smaill is set in a dystopian London where there is no electricity, written word is forbidden and memories don't hold for more than a day. People cannot remember much of their past - if any, don't have a concept of the future and live entirely in the present. This memory loss is due to the daily sounding of Chimes conducted by the ruling class - The Order - on a carillon.

We follow orphan Simon Wythern as he travels to London with nothing but a tradesong and a cryptic message given to him by his late mother. Following the path that his mother intended for him while being brainwashed every day is challenging, and the anxiety that Simon feels about forgetting his memories is palpable. Simon winds up bunking with a pack of supposed ruffians that are employed by The Order to scavenge old railways and underground systems for the rare metal palladium which has some curious properties.

In this alternate version of London where books and maps don't exist - music fills that void. Tunes encoded with directions help Simon and his pack navigate through the dark, dank underground systems. For descriptive words such a 'loudly', 'quietly' and 'quickly' - the musical terminology for those ('forte', 'piano', 'presto') are used in their place. I think this is such a beautiful feature and it helps reiterate how musical this world is.

Word-play, similar to that in dystopian novel 'Riddley Walker' by Russell Hoban, also makes much of an appearance: for example, 'Green Witch' instead of Greenwich.

If you don't have a vague background in music you may pick up this book and be terribly confused with some terminology initially, but if you persist I promise it is worth it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
My advice for anyone embarking on this novel: Hang. In. There.

It’s not an easy read and it takes some getting used to, but it’s most definitely worth it in the end.

All becomes clear (well, as clear as the murky water of the Thames) at page 90 when Smaill finally provides a bit of context. Thank god.

The plot itself was probably the most challenging element of this novel. I need to add the disclaimer here that I am most certainly not a fan of the fantasy /sci fi genre or dystopian fiction.

I was however, very intrigued by the notion of a world without memories. I mean, how much do our memories influence who we are and what we do?!

Smaill takes Eckhart Tolle’s ‘living in the now’ philosophy one scary step further by giving us no choice in the matter.

For me - the power of The Chimes lay in Smaill’s lyrical writing. Obviously she’s chosen language which promotes melody – in keeping with the theme of the book.

Read the full review on my blog: http://www.debbish.com/books-literature/the-chimes-by-anna-smaill/
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Poor attempt at dystopian adolescent fiction. Felt compelled to read this after it was chosen by a member of my book club. Tortorous!!! Totally unbelievable and consisted of a pistache of every sci fi disaster dystopia that has been written/filmed over the last 50 years. Smaill has read/seen them all and has done little to be original or thought provoking in her text. Comes complete with homosexual teenage angst - could see this blatant attempt to be current coming well before the 'awakening'. Just a tip Anna - third person narrative is often more intriguing than the overused first person trophe of writers of the sci-fi genre. Potential readers - don't bother.
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