Adam's Reviews > The Silent Land

The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
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's review
Dec 30, 2010

it was ok

The Silent Land is entirely about the plot scenario, and sadly all the initially eeriness which might have come with that is killed by the book’s jacket copy. That is, you know straight off what situation these characters are facing, and you do not “discover” it along with them. Also, the characters are little more than stick figures, serving only to walk us through the plot. Essentially, the first few chapters are just this (as noted by the jacket copy): they survive an avalanche and return to familiar territory, finding this place empty and that place empty, and all forms of communication with the outside world do not function, et cetera.

The writing is bare-bones and colorless, like most Stephen King I’ve read. Or mediocre young adult writing. Or very subpar Richard Matheson. After reading a quarter of the book, I skipped to the end and was not surprised to see the last chapter filled with cliches.

If I haven’t put you off yet, maybe this dialogue sample will do the trick: ”It’s what I do when I get frightened, okay? I bullshit. It’s an effective way of making things seem better. There, are you happy now you’ve seen through me? Can we carry on walking now that my failure as a human being has been exposed?” Yech.

Read The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas instead.
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