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The Sound of Loneliness

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Manchester in 1991 is a town suffering under the weight of high unemployment and massive government budgetary deficits that is plunging the UK into a recession. To Daniel Crabtree, a struggling writer, it is the backcloth to his first novel, one that will see him become a famous published author. Living off mostly water and flour, Daniel has embraced penury into his life u ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published January 16th 2013 by Perfect Edge Books (first published December 31st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Daniel Crabtree reminds me of Ignatius P. Reilly. He's a self-professed writer who doesn't write, putting all his faith into the acceptance of his lone short story and its journey to non-publication, whilst deriding everything else in his path. Believing that solitude and suffering are the only way to create good art, he subjects himself to impoverished living on the dole, stringing his family along with predictions of his impending literary fame and its lifestyle accoutrements. The guy's quite ...more
Peter Tieryas
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Craig Wallwork's Quintessence of Dust and couldn't wait to dive into Sound of Loneliness. The books couldn't have been more different from each other, a fact that I love. This is a very dark book that at times had me cringing at the edge of my seat. But I couldn't put it down. One of the first images that really haunted me was when he didn't have enough money for toilet paper and had to use his hands. I had wondered if this was one of those underdog stories where a guy rises from ...more
Simon West-Bulford
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-friends
One thing I want to get across straight away about the 5 star rating: it's genuine.
My shallow taste in books does not usually allow for anything without a supernatural/sci-fi or fantasy element to it, and this book has none of those, so you would be forgiven for thinking that I gave it an automatic 5 stars because the book's in my 'authors I know' section, but I 'know' him because I have always admired his writing.

Anyway, there are plenty of good reasons why the 'it's amazing' tag is deserved.
Jonny Gibbings
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was described to me as a writers book. I don't know what that means. If it means a lyrical delivery and staggeringly good prose, than yes, it is a writers book.
What I loved about this book is that the plot is thin, there isn't much undulations to it. I imagine the Author will hate me for saying it, but there isn't much going on, other than a pastiche of life itself. What is fantastic about this piece of work is in how it delivers the almost mundane and at times bleak narrative. Every s
Edward Rathke
I read an earlier version of this novel and loved it. It's very different from everything else I've read by Craig as it's firmly realism in the vein of John Fante and Charles Bukowski, with similar touches of humor and emotion.

Highly recommended.

My interview with Craig at Monkeybicycle.
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honest, witty and emotional, this book has much to offer and was deeply relatable to me. Well done.
Monique Antonette Lewis
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
The backdrop is Manchester in 1991 during high unemployment, befitting for the idealistic writer who starves himself to pen the next great novel. In Craig Wallwork’s The Sound of Loneliness, Daniel Crabtree goes through great lengths to prove he’s a good writer to everyone, even if it means lofty lies about his success.

There is just one problem. Daniel isn’t writing and his best friend’s paper has just turned down one of his short stories. For much of the novel, the reader follows Daniel in and
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rich word choice and writing style grabbed and held my interest from the first page! I love words...parsimony, gormless, ameliorate, malodorous, get the idea. These rich sprinklings add to the story itself, contributing to the irony of Daniel Crabtree longing to be a successful writer. "It is true that as September rolled in on the last of the warm breeze, I was dying, but not of starvation. Death was an all-consuming lack of confidence." Poor Daniel (his story, when rejected, was ...more
Jay Slayton-Joslin
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Before this I thought of Craig Wallwork as a friend in the writing community that we are both part of. He wrote a fantastic book. But, now, I guess it's a lot more - I think of him as a teacher.
Nigel Bird
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
The words of William Blake are quoted at the beginning of this novel:
‘Dear mother, Dear mother, the Church is cold, but the Alehouse is healthy, and pleasant, and warm.’
It doesn’t take long to work out that this opening is very apt.
Daniel Crabtree is a barfly of sorts – more of a pubfly really. The pubs he frequents don’t have any of the dramatic or romantic connotations that one often finds in American fiction, rather they are down to earth places where men hide out and hang out and do little
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Superbly written tale!
Terrific Book!
Brilliantly Unique!

Daniel Crabtree is a magnificence main character. He is 'both' the antagonist and protagonist in his own life; which much more closely resembles real life.
The 'feelings', (anger, disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, hope, sadness, etc.), we experience through Daniel are universal --yet somehow Daniel's feels a little more 'extreme'.

I appreciate that the author never asks the reader to feel sorry for Daniel. In fact, you fall in lov
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers who aren’t looking for a nice, fluffy, happy-go-lucky book.
3.5 stars

Did you take a good look at the cover? Isn’t it so creative? I really liked it. And the title is catchy too. Reason enough to pick this book? Maybe.

As usual having not read the blurb, I had no idea what I was getting myself into except for the title and the cover. So imagine my surprise at the raw and in-your-face tone of the book. It goes deep, much deeper than the words on the periphery.

If you give this book time (which is essential especially if you, like me, love a speedy read inste
Laramore Black
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Craig Wallwork truly does have a steady voice of wits and honesty throughout the entire novel. The language used is both dark and beautiful. I don't think anyone would be disappointed in it.

I'd never read any of his work before and this was truly a treat. I recommend this book for writers. Craig Wallwork is a writer's writer.

Also, I've already coined using Crabtree as an adjective, you people are welcome for that.

Thank me later.

Laramore Black
Editor of SYW Magazine
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Hear our complete review over at our website:
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Hear my complete review on my podcast:
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Something has always resonated with me in the first stanza of the poem above by Christina Rosetti.

This has been a long, painstakingly, dreary winter and spring. There are still huge snow banks. The sidewalks have turned to ice skating lanes as the temperatures warm up during the day, but freeze during the night. No
Growing Up
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy my review of THE SOUND OF LONELINESS - please visit my blog, it has TONS of great book reviews, writing, commentary, photos and other fun stuff:

The main character of this book is Daniel Crabtree. He is in his early 20′s and has recently moved out from his mother’s house, his father having died when he was 13 years old. He is now living on his own, considers himself a struggling writer and living from some sort of government welfare. He thinks th
Eli Wilde
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm only a quarter of the way through this book, but I have to remember - I was sleeping, arsewipe. For my review. Too funny...

Yup, it made me laugh throughout, but uncle (writing) that arsewipe comment had me laughing the most. Here is my full review:

I said somewhere that after reading the first half of – Loneliness, it felt like I was experiencing my first real influence of 2013. Having just finished reading this fine story today that initial feeling still holds true.

I don’t really want to tal
Laura Roberts
Set in Manchester, England in 1991, The Sound of Loneliness follows desolate narrator Daniel Crabtree from his dreary apartment, to drearier pubs, and back again. Although Daniel is ostensibly a writer, he has only completed a single short story thus far, and has dreams of making it big, though little ambition beyond charging his friend “in publishing” with getting someone interested in the story.

Living off his monthly unemployment checks, Daniel begs or borrows (and occasionally steals) everyth
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Crabtree's life is anything but normal. He struggles to get by day to day, unable to fully make ends meet. He's yearned for a better life, one where he has an adequate roof over his head, and food to properly fill his belly. Never a day goes by when he doesn't wish to change his circumstances. He's tired of living in the pits of despair, tired of having nothing to his name. He needs to make something happen, but he's not quite sure as to what he needs to do in order to achieve that very f ...more
Paul Eckert
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been a fan of Craig Wallwork’s writing for a while, but this is the first time I’ve read a novel by him, and it was a much different experience. I think part of the difference was due to the subject matter of the story.

The Sound of Loneliness is about Daniel Crabtree, a young man in the UK trying to make it as a writer. In an effort to make his writing genuine, Daniel lives in poverty, scraping by on unemployment checks and intentionally starving himself. He suffers from severe delusions o
Shah Wharton
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Crabtree exists in a council flat in Manchester in the early 1990’s.Forced by his own arrogance and delusions into poverty, he supplements sporadic and insignificant meals with floury drinks to stave off a constant insanity inducing hunger. A talentless writer, he believes himself worthy of literary success despite evidence to the contrary and an excruciating inability to get words from his head to the page.

Crabtree is a narcissistic loner who enjoys looking down on lesser people, deludin
Gary Libero
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading The Sound of Loneliness this morning and Daniel Crabtree continues to walk through my mind much as he lumbered through the streets of Salford. This is Craig Wallwork's first novel among his short story collections.

This read is as gorgeous as it is heartbreaking. Crabtree is a mostly detestable young man with such a hatred for the world around him, but Wallwork manages to spark the tiniest bits of pure human emotion in this character that you can't hate him but rather sympathi
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Sound of Loneliness is the story of a twentysomething year old man, Daniel Crabtree, attempting to survive on his own while aspiring to be a famous writer. Work does not come natural to our protagonist, making his living situation progressively worse as the book moves along. I found it to have a simple writing to it that sucked me in 'til the end, reminding me of Bukowski but with more soul to his characters.

Loneliness will leave you with a feeling of desolation like no other. It does not ho
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I feel so bad about this review because the author was so lovely to me when I told him I'd got the book. He was lovely and I don't want to seem rude for not liking it but it just was not the book for me at all.

It was brilliantly written, almost like a modern classic, but for me there was too much prose, and not enough dialogue. It was probably around a 4:1 ratio prose:dialogue. There was more speech towards the end of the book, and I began to enjoy the story more when that happened.

I found it ha
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rating between 3-4.

I’m so unsure if I liked this book or not. It’s probably one of the most honest books I’ve read to date. It doesn’t give you fluffy, happy, cute moments. It’s raw, harsh and at times, gross. But it’s interesting. I was often torn between just wanting to put it away and wanting to continue reading the next chapter.

Daniel Crabtree aims to be a writer. It’s something he feels very strongly about. Now although he doesn’t appear to ever get anything published in the book, I will g
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is very much in the vein of Fante and Bukowski (both of whom are referenced in the novel), but with the setting of a dreary, hopeless Manchester in place of dreary, hopeless Los Angeles. Another similarity is the fact that even though these pages are soaked in melancholia, loneliness, poverty and frustration, they're also counterbalanced by enough humor to lessen the weight of its subject matter; you find yourself laughing at Daniel Crabtree as much as you find yourself cringing at him. And ...more
Michael Gonzalez
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Melancholic" is a word that only scratches at the surface of this novel. Daniel Crabtree is a writer fully weighed down by small town inertia, an author big on ambition but short on work ethic, and a painfully close mirror to the everyday life of a writer. He's afraid of a lot of things, his past, love, exposing his writing to the public, remaining an anonymous hack... it all hit a little too close to home. There's a lesson in this book that nags like a loose tooth, about wanting something so b ...more
Tobacco Jones
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Craig Wallwork does a masterful job in bringing the reader fully into this world, which paints a relentless picture of an eternally hopeful young man experiencing many of the worst things that life can throw at him. This is an interesting book about the seemingly arbitrary choices that can be made in the face of overwhelmingly difficult circumstances, and the persistence of the human spirit. The protagonist fancies himself a fighter, which he physically is not, but on the inside he actually is. ...more
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book as part of Goodread's First Reads.

This is my first encounter with Craig's work and I will definitely be seeking out more of his material. This was a rare instance where I was left thinking about the book for a few weeks after reading it. It was written in a very steady, confident style and the story .. well, it's a tough one to describe. It's about life. As it is. Not dressed up in flowery prose but delivered in a raw, dark emotive voice which is rather unique. A very thought-pro
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Craig Wallwork was born in Salford, Manchester, England. After leaving school he attended Art College before becoming a film-maker and then a full time editor.

He is the twice Pushcart nominated writer of over 40 short stories, and the author of the books To Die Upon a Kiss, The Sound of Loneliness, Quintessence of Dust and Gory Hole.
More about Craig Wallwork...

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