Todd lives in a world of Noise. There is never true silence, because everywhere on the planet, the thoughts of men and animals alike are completely audible to everyone around them. When the settlers landed on the New World, fleeing the horrors of Earth, they did not expect the natives that awaited or the virus that would cause their thoughts to become public knowledge and result in the deaths of all of the women in Prentisstown. But as Todd approaches his thirteenth birthday, the day he will become a man, he learns a terrible secret and is forced to flee for his life, with the men of the town chasing after him.
I really enjoyed this book. The structure of the world is pretty well put together, although I did wonder why they bothered to bring crocodiles with them for the swamps. Were they native somehow? It just seems like an odd creature to bring. The concept of Noise driving everyone insane and making the world so much worse seemed to echo Lewis’ Screwtape proclaiming that all music and art would be drowned out in one vast unending noise.
The Noise is depicted by radically different font, making it clearly jump out of the page and provide the distraction it should (at one point, the entire section is illegible, because the text is written over itself.) For that reason, this is one that should really be picked up in hard copy, rather than ebook.
My biggest complaint is the use of dialect in narration. It fits Todd well, but it goes a little too far. Using “thru” instead of “through,” for example, is not a good instance of dialect, as it wouldn’t come through in spoken text.
But when that’s my biggest complaint, I’m obviously going to recommend the book.
It was fantastic, and I look forward to reading the next.
If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here.