The Chimes

The Chimes

by Anna Smaill

NOOK Book(eBook)

$3.99

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A highly original dystopian masterpiece, an intricately imagined, exquisitely invoked world in which music instills order and ravages individuality . . . Smaill is a poet and a classically trained violinist, and both these skills shine in this lyrical novel steeped in the language of music . . . clearly marking her as an exciting new writer to watch."
Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March


"something strikingly new"—Lit Hub

"Smaill's clever use of musical terms in her characters' speech adds to the immersive quality of the work, and her melodious prose lures the reader like a pied piper. With literary trappings but a solidly speculative heart, The Chimes is a cantata of pure delight."—Jaclyn Fulwood, Shelf Awareness (Starred Review)

"Smaill is a classically trained musician - a violinist, to be precise - and it shows on every page of The Chimes. Not only does music saturate the book's setting, it fills its themes and prose . . . For all the poetry and lyricism, The Chimes is a solid, suspenseful adventure story at heart, complete with a quest, a prophecy, and a simmering, deeply moving romance . . . lucid yet dreamlike writing pulls it through. Not to mention her deft, tender characterization . . . [and] profound ideas and images echoing throughout."
NPR Books


"To call The Chimes striking is, I dare say, to underplay what might be the most distinctive debut of the decade."
Tor.com

"Cleverly orchestrated and poignantly conveyed throughout."—The Guardian

"One of a kind, both in its dystopian landscape and use of gorgeous language throughout . . . Fans of the eloquence and imagery of Jeff VanderMeer's 'Southern Reach' trilogy and the spare desolation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road will adore this original work."
Megan McArdle, Library Journal (Starred Review, Debut of the Month)


"A melodic, immersive dystopian tale set in a London where writing is lost and song has replaced story . . . Entrancingly poetic and engagingly plotted, this is a story that brims with heart and soul."
Kirkus 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


"Atmospheric, intensely-imagined strangeness."—Daily Mail

"One of the top literary novels of the year. Set in a world where music has replaced the written word it's a lyrical, entrancing story which ramps up to a fast-paced finale."
Elle (UK)

Library Journal

★ 04/15/2016
After an apocalyptic event known as the Allbreaking, most survivors are left unable to hold on to long-term memories, instead centering their communication on music, which seems to help them remember. Simon has traveled from his home outside of London to the city after his mother's death, carrying his memory objects in an old canvas sack. While given instructions on whom to talk to in London, Simon has forgotten the details and is left wandering near the Thames. There he meets and falls in with a gang of metal pickers, led by Lucien. Though blind, Lucien hears and sings the melodies that keep his crew safe. He also senses that Simon's recall is special, and if he could only recollect enough, together they could change their world. The novel's purposefully confusing beginning mirrors Simon's bewilderment, and patient readers will be well rewarded as the reality of Simon's world swims into focus and the story suddenly becomes gripping and impossible to put down. VERDICT One of a kind, both in its dystopian landscape and use of gorgeous language throughout (including clever musical terms), this debut takes time to digest but is worth the effort. Fans of the eloquence and imagery of Jeff VanderMeer's "Southern Reach" trilogy and the spare desolation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road will adore this original work.—MM

Kirkus Reviews

2016-03-03
A melodic, immersive dystopian tale set in a London where writing is lost and song has replaced story. It's some time after the cataclysmic Allbreaking, and the powerful Order has set all to rights. Every evening now, their bells peal out a soothing chorus of harmony that overwhelms body and mind. Living in an eternal present, residents of Britain rely on the rituals of "bodymemory" and their private hoards of "objectmemories"—a muddy raincoat, a shard of plate—in order to cling to the slippery knowledge of who they are. In inventive language that perfectly captures the disrupted nature of this world, debut novelist Smaill introduces us to Simon, through whom we experience this richly realized future. Simon runs with a "pact" of fellow teens in the "under"—the dark tunnels and tracks leftover from when Britain had electricity. Guided by the pact leader, Lucien, whose musical gifts more than make up for his blindness, they scavenge in "thamesmuck" for nuggets of precious pale "mettle" to sell on the black market. Simon has settled into this life despite the unusual clarity with which he can visualize his past, which once included a family. But to Simon's great disturbance, Lucien starts asking him to share these stories of his past, in violation of all social codes. When Simon does begin to piece his memories together with Lucien's, they discover the horror of how this world of seeming harmony came to be. After the deft and engaging worldbuilding of the first half, the second half of the novel slips into a swift and simple quest narrative, but it's one plaited with an unexpected story of first love. As the novel reaches its crescendo, the poignancy of memory, with all its attendant pain and loss, faces down the dangers of a perfection built on ignorant bliss. Entrancingly poetic and engagingly plotted, this is a story that brims with heart and soul.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781444794519
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.
Publication date: 02/12/2015
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,166,086
File size: 2 MB

Customer Reviews