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    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304

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The Silent Land

The Silent Land Cover

 

Staff Pick

After married couple Zoe and Jake survive an avalanche, they are shocked to discover that every single person in their French Pyrenees resort has disappeared — and not only everyone in their resort but everyone in the entire town as well. Their dogged attempts at communication and escape are thwarted at every turn. Frustrated and bewildered, they begin to notice that things are not quite right with their environment and also, ominously, with each other. Joyce writes a taut, eerie, chilling tale that becomes more unbearably nerve-wracking with every page; increasing terror bubbles just under the surface. I so loved this book! Oh, Graham Joyce: you are my new favorite author! Jonathan Lethem could not have been more accurate when he wrote, "I won't bother saying Graham Joyce deserves to find a wide audience in America; rather, I think the American audience deserves to discover him."
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Award-winning novelist and cult favorite Graham Joyce transports readers to a mysterious world of isolation and fear with a hypnotically dark story about a young couple trapped by an avalanche in the remote French Pyrenees... a daring and powerful novel about love, loss, and rebirth.

In the French Pyrenees, a young married couple is buried under a flash avalanche while skiing. Miraculously, Jake and Zoe dig their way out from under the snow—only to discover the world they knew has been overtaken by an eerie and absolute silence. Their hotel is devoid of another living soul. Cell phones and land lines are cut off. An evacuation as sudden and thorough as this leaves Jake and Zoe to face a terrifying situation alone. They are trapped by the storm, completely isolated, with another catastrophic avalanche threatening to bury them alive... again. And as the couple begin to witness unset­tling events neither one can ignore, they are forced to con­front a frightening truth about the silent land they now inhabit.

Award-winning author Graham Joyce has written a mysteri­ous masterpiece, a tour de force that will thrill fans of Peter Straub and the hit television show Lost.

Review:

"Near the outset of this gently haunting fantasy thriller from British author Joyce (Requiem), a freak avalanche buries Zoe and Jake, a couple on a skiing holiday near the Pyrenean resort town of Saint-Bernard-en-Haut. After digging out, they find themselves the only inhabitants of the unnaturally silent landscape. Back at their hotel, they discover they're still alone. All their efforts to leave for the next town only bring them back in a circle. Jake suspects that they've died — but then Zoe begins seeing furtive figures and hearing snatches of speech that suggest this likely explanation is more complex than it seems. Joyce brings freshness to this familiar supernatural scenario by emphasizing the humanness of his characters over the weirdness of the phenomena. By the time the tale sounds its final bittersweet note, readers will remember the passionate emotional bond the two have shared and self-sacrifices that are the hallmark of a love that can transcend death. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

"This tour de force invites comparison to the work of Haruki Murakami and Ian McEwan....Few times while reading fiction have I been so overcome by how remembering the past and living in the moment combine to form the core of our existence. In The Silent Land — a classic in the making — Joyce's great and abiding gift is to make the reader feel this truth fiercely and protectively." The Washington Post

Review:

"Stark, layered, ominous and yet appealing....Luckily for the reader, in the end Mr. Joyce delivers relief along with satisfaction and wonder." New York Times

Review:

"Fans of the supernatural will enjoy this original love story." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Award-winning novelist and cult favorite Graham Joyce transports readers to a mysterious world of isolation and fear with a hypnotically dark story about a young couple trapped by an avalanche in the remote French Pyrenees. . . a daring and powerful novel about love, loss, and rebirth.

In the French Pyrenees, a young married couple is buried under a flash avalanche while skiing. Miraculously, Jake and Zoe dig their way out from under the snow—only to discover the world they knew has been overtaken by an eerie and absolute silence. Their hotel is devoid of another living soul. Cell phones and land lines are cut off. An evacuation as sudden and thorough as this leaves Jake and Zoe to face a terrifying situation alone. They are trapped by the storm, completely isolated, with another catastrophic avalanche threatening to bury them alive . . . again. And as the couple begin to witness unset­tling events neither one can ignore, they are forced to con­front a frightening truth about the silent land they now inhabit.

Award-winning author Graham Joyce has written a mysteri­ous masterpiece, a tour de force that will thrill fans of Peter Straub and the hit television show Lost.

About the Author

Graham Joyce, a winner of the O. Henry Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award, lives in Leicester, England, with his family. His books include How to Make Friends with Demons, Smoking Poppy, Indigo (a New York Times Notable Book of 2000), The Tooth Fairy (a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998), and Requiem, among others.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

David Kovner, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by David Kovner)
Beautiful, thrilling and moving. Joyce's best book since The Tooth Fairy.
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crowyhead, July 28, 2011 (view all comments by crowyhead)
This is more like 3.5 stars, rather than 3. It's not QUITE a four-star book, but it's nearly there...

A gorgeous day on the ski slopes is marred by an avalanche, from which Zoe and her husband Jack barely escape with their lives. Their joy and relief at surviving is marred when they return to the ski resort and find that every living thing in town is gone. Food sits on the hotel kitchen counters, ready to be prepared for lunch. Lights still burn. Pairs of skis sit outside the lodge, waiting for their owners. But no one is there. Moreover, the town is enclosed by a strange snowstorm, and the snow on the slopes above still creaks ominously. At first, the pair assumes that the town was evacuated, but there are curious difficulties in reaching anyone via phone, and all of their attempts to drive or walk out of town meet with failure. What's going on, and will it keep going on forever?

Joyce has crafted a wonderfully atmospheric setting, but his real triumph here is the relationship between Zoe and Jack. They really feel like a real couple, with the same kinds of testy arguments, uncertainties, and powerful affection that I recognize in my own relationship and those around me. The plot is, honestly, rather predictable -- I figured out what was going on pretty early on, and accurately predicted how it would go -- but this book is still worth reading. If I could do it over I would save it for a winter night when the wind is whistling and it feels like I might be the only person on the planet.
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BW, July 8, 2011 (view all comments by BW)
"The Silent Land" begins with a married couple on a skiing vacation in the French Pyrenees, up on the mountain early for a ski run in the quiet beauty they have to themselves before the rest of the skiiers are out. When they are caught in an avalanche, one of them buried, the other able to help dig out (a section that was harrowing to read), they are shaken and cold but unharmed. Arriving back in the village at the foot of the mountain, they find their hotel empty, the shops empty. They assume the village evacuated because of the avalanche. Fearing another avalanche, they decide to leave too. But this turns out not to be easy to do, and they have to adapt and draw on their own resources--emotionally as well as physically.

Graham Joyce draws the reader into this eerie world gradually through well chosen details and incidents, in which the couple's ordinary, relationship, which is close and loving but no longer in the first flush of romance, helps to make the extraordinary nature of their predicament believable. In the end, it is the bond between Jake and Zoe that gives the story its emotional meaning, even as the things they experience become more disjointed and frightening. I'm not a fan of the horror genre, and I was surprised to find that some reviewers considered this a horror novel. I considered it a love story set in the Twilight Zone.

This was the first book in a long time I read in a single day--not at one sitting, but every time I could grab some time I sat down and jumped back into it. I look forward to reading it again, probably more than once. There is a telltale clue in the narrative choices Joyce made that I didn't notice until I had finished the book. I can hardly wait to read it again more slowly and closely to see more of how he achieved the force that kept me coming back to read just a little more, just a little more, until I simply had to sit and read the rest.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385533805
Subtitle:
A novel
Publisher:
Doubleday
Author:
Joyce, Graham
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20110329
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.6 x 1.7 in .8188 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

The Silent Land
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 272 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385533805 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

After married couple Zoe and Jake survive an avalanche, they are shocked to discover that every single person in their French Pyrenees resort has disappeared — and not only everyone in their resort but everyone in the entire town as well. Their dogged attempts at communication and escape are thwarted at every turn. Frustrated and bewildered, they begin to notice that things are not quite right with their environment and also, ominously, with each other. Joyce writes a taut, eerie, chilling tale that becomes more unbearably nerve-wracking with every page; increasing terror bubbles just under the surface. I so loved this book! Oh, Graham Joyce: you are my new favorite author! Jonathan Lethem could not have been more accurate when he wrote, "I won't bother saying Graham Joyce deserves to find a wide audience in America; rather, I think the American audience deserves to discover him."

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Near the outset of this gently haunting fantasy thriller from British author Joyce (Requiem), a freak avalanche buries Zoe and Jake, a couple on a skiing holiday near the Pyrenean resort town of Saint-Bernard-en-Haut. After digging out, they find themselves the only inhabitants of the unnaturally silent landscape. Back at their hotel, they discover they're still alone. All their efforts to leave for the next town only bring them back in a circle. Jake suspects that they've died — but then Zoe begins seeing furtive figures and hearing snatches of speech that suggest this likely explanation is more complex than it seems. Joyce brings freshness to this familiar supernatural scenario by emphasizing the humanness of his characters over the weirdness of the phenomena. By the time the tale sounds its final bittersweet note, readers will remember the passionate emotional bond the two have shared and self-sacrifices that are the hallmark of a love that can transcend death. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "This tour de force invites comparison to the work of Haruki Murakami and Ian McEwan....Few times while reading fiction have I been so overcome by how remembering the past and living in the moment combine to form the core of our existence. In The Silent Land — a classic in the making — Joyce's great and abiding gift is to make the reader feel this truth fiercely and protectively."
"Review" by , "Stark, layered, ominous and yet appealing....Luckily for the reader, in the end Mr. Joyce delivers relief along with satisfaction and wonder."
"Review" by , "Fans of the supernatural will enjoy this original love story."
"Synopsis" by , Award-winning novelist and cult favorite Graham Joyce transports readers to a mysterious world of isolation and fear with a hypnotically dark story about a young couple trapped by an avalanche in the remote French Pyrenees. . . a daring and powerful novel about love, loss, and rebirth.

In the French Pyrenees, a young married couple is buried under a flash avalanche while skiing. Miraculously, Jake and Zoe dig their way out from under the snow—only to discover the world they knew has been overtaken by an eerie and absolute silence. Their hotel is devoid of another living soul. Cell phones and land lines are cut off. An evacuation as sudden and thorough as this leaves Jake and Zoe to face a terrifying situation alone. They are trapped by the storm, completely isolated, with another catastrophic avalanche threatening to bury them alive . . . again. And as the couple begin to witness unset­tling events neither one can ignore, they are forced to con­front a frightening truth about the silent land they now inhabit.

Award-winning author Graham Joyce has written a mysteri­ous masterpiece, a tour de force that will thrill fans of Peter Straub and the hit television show Lost.

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