Sunday, 1 March 2015

Review #26 - Noise

Title: Noise
Author: Brett Garcia Rose
Published: June 2014
Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery


A brief synopsis; (Via Goodreads)
Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.

Where is Lily?
 Noise, by Brett Garcia Rose, is a thriller/mystery centering on a deaf character's search for his missing sister. It's short, violent, but ultimately it's about love.


Brett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday MagazineThe Barcelona ReviewOpiumRose and ThornThe Battered SuitcaseFiction AtticParaphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. 

His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s AwardBest of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home.

To learn more, go to, or connect with Brett on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads.

I love books that begin with quotes in the foreword, instead of dedications. (Nothing against dedications, I just find quotes to be more alluring. Dedications, to me, seem too personal. I don't know those people, whereas I can relate to quotes.)

For Noise, the opening quote was 'If a lion could talk, we would not hear him.' - Ludwig Wittgenstein. I have never before been so certain about adding a quote to my Quote Wall than before. And I can say the same for the very opening sentence of this novel:
The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.
Is that self-deprecating or what? The very first page made me unbelievably sad. This whole book made me unbelievably sad? Like, what, what are you doing, sir, that is not the correct way to treat your readers, stop.

I was given such a modest outlook of New York City life through Noise. I've never been, so I have no idea what this place is like, but the picture painted in Noise is dark, gritty, and realistic; there's an abundance of crime, and to me it seems like what a major city would be like. Nothing is glammed up, given an unrealistic description of beauty, and for that I am pleased.

Oh, and this book went from startlingly normal to ultra-violent in the drop of a hat. I was shocked- excited, but shocked. It didn't even register to me what Leon was doing until I'd finished the section, and then I had to backtrack like- 'seriously'? But yeah! Seriously.

This is the first book I've read narrated by a deaf person, and so the experience I received of how Leon views the world was, in my opinion, very unique.

A warning, though; this book is not for the faint hearted. There is a lot of violence within, and so be cautious when reading. The good thing, however, is that it isn't overdone. Sure, there's a hell of a lot of it, but, it's justified- it isn't just violence for the sake of violence, there's reasoning behind it.

For me, Noise was a very mysterious novel, with a hard hitting impact and an experience in something new. It was thrilling, exciting, and deeply moving. The devotion displayed by Leon is inherently fantastic, and whilst it fuels most of his rage, his over protectiveness and arguable does more harm than good, ultimately, I could not bring myself to hate Leon by the end of it.

Brett did a very humane, raw and astonishing piece of work within Noise; one that I don't think should be missed by anyone.

I have an abundance of favourite quotes from this book, which would take too long for me to write out; so I simply took the first four that I marked out. The last one I felt was particularly powerful.
It is an unpleasant feeling I cannot run away from, and I do not try.
The idea of growing up is a foreign concept invented by Westerners to slow everything down. 
Unless a rich white kid is kidnapped, DNA is just too expensive to chase.
A river becomes a canyon. A rabbit becomes a diamond. A continent vanishes into the sea and is never seen again. A small boy from Africa becomes a murderer. Nature kills us all. I want to go back home, but my home was always Lily. 

Star Rating: 5/5
“A staggering, compelling work of fiction…mind-blowingly perfect. It has everything. Exquisite details, world-weary voice, and people worth knowing. It is truly amazing!” – MaryAnne Kolton, Author and Editor of This Literary Magazine

“Strong, compelling, raw and human in the best sense. Beautifully written.” – Susan Tepper, Author of Deer and Other Stories

“Perfect, compact and explosive, closing with the gentlest word.” – James Lloyd Davis, Author of Knitting the Unraveled Sleeves

“Wow. Beautiful and wonderful and sad and real.” – Sally Houtman, Author of To Grandma’s House, We . . . Stay

“Frighteningly good.” – Meg Pokrass, Author of Bird Envy

“Superbly explosive. The rage escalates and careens out of control. Amazing.” – Ajay Nair, Author of Desi Rap

No comments:

Post a Comment