Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Silent Land by Graham Joyce

The Silent Land won The Wertzone Award for Best Novel in 2010, so when I saw the book on the shelves at the library, I knew I had to pick it up right away.

A couple goes on a skiing vacation, but it is not quite the trip they had planned....

It struck me while I was reading that it was a good book, a piece of literature.

Indeed, I've seen The Silent Land classified as literary fiction -- yet also genre fiction and speculative fiction, so it might appeal to a wide variety of readers. If I were to classify it as a fantasy, I would say it is closest to contemporary fantasy.

I would also say the writing style is impressionistic. The story is told through the characters and what they experience, rather than the interpretation of the experience afterwards. There is a sense of immediacy and minimalism there. I really like these qualities in a novel.

Here's what Adam Whitehead wrote about this gem:

The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
This is a short, quiet novel that focuses on two characters who find themselves alone in a strange environment. Haunting and unsettling, those with a passing familiarity with genre fiction should work out what's going on pretty quickly, but watching the characters do the same is fascinating, culminating in an emotionally powerful conclusion

In conclusion, The Silent Land is a modern classic.

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