Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Silence” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.69  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.

What is silence? In a series of short meditations, novelist and playwright John Biguenet considers silence as a servant of power, as a lie, as a punishment, as the voice of God, as a terrorist's final weapon, as a luxury good, as the reason for torture-in short, as an
Paperback, 152 pages
Published September 24th 2015 by Bloomsbury Academic
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Silence, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Silence

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  19 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Silence
Ajeje Brazov
Nov 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, saggi
Il saggio che ho letto, parla del silenzio. Cos'è il silenzio? Esiste davvero il silenzio e come si manifesta? Riusciamo a capire quando siamo in silenzio, quello vero ed assoluto? e molte altre domande...
Nella nostra società odierna, il silenzio ha poco spazio, dato che viviamo in un continuo brusio dato da macchinari sempre accesi, come automobili, TV, elettrodomestici, cellulari ecc... e pensado più in grande, ci sono aerei, centinaia di aerei in giro ogni giorno a tutte le ore, così come aut
Federica Rampi
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggistica
Che significato ha il silenzio nella nostra vita?
Ci viene insegnato che il silenzio è d’oro, ci viene chiesto di praticarlo la maggior parte delle volte nella nostra vita, specie a scuola e spesso lo usiamo per eludere situazioni spiacevoli e risentirci quando invece è usato contro di noi.
Il silenzio può nascondere una bugia, una punizione, la voce della coscienza.
Spesso il silenzio è un bene di lusso.

Biguenet ce lo spiega avvalendosi di una vasta gamma di esperienze umane, che spaziano da Freud
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Durante la quarantena la casa editrice Il Saggiatore offriva a giorni alterni ebook da scaricare gratuitamente. Essendo un'amante del silenzio ho subito approfittato dell'offerta per scaricare questo breve saggio di Biguenet sul silenzio. Non è esattamente ciò che mi aspettavo, ma ha superato le aspettative ed è stato persino più interessante di ciò che pensassi. Io ero convinta che mi sarei trovata tra le mani un libro che parlasse di natura, di spiritualità, di come l'uomo sia alla ricerca del ...more
Papiya Banerjee
I loved the concept. Couldn’t believe that an author can write a book on Silence. I just had a few issues in the middle of the book where I felt the author went off topic and there were just too many allegories and names thrown and I clearly couldn’t understand the subject. And that’s why my rating of 3.

The initial chapters blew me away, Selling Silence as a Commodity is something I most identified with. The end chapters also made me learn some absolutely new things. I can easily give this short
Kati Stevens
A few of the essays really stretched the concept of what silence means beyond its breaking point, and Biguenet has the habit of falling into painfully purple prose during those moments. Other clearer essays actually have something to say. Mixed bag.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a surprisingly moving, astute, almost poetic object lesson on silence.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Mi aspettavo una riflessione sul silenzio e non l'analisi del silenzio nell'arte e nella vita. ...more
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miscellaneous

I was expecting this to be about the science of silence and how it appears in nature, but this is about silence in terms of society.

Biguenet sums it up near the beginning when he describes silence as representing both luxury or terror.

He sites airplanes as examples of both. First with the luxury of affording quiet club rooms at the airport and noise cancelling headphones for the flight, and then the terror of the silence he witnessed / partook in when there was a malfunction on a flight he was o
Andrea Muraro
“Anche se il silenzio rimarrà per sempre al di là della nostra portata, l’idea di un simile presunto vuoto è un oggetto la cui utilità è inesauribile e il cui valore in un mondo così assordante, cresce a dismisura.”

John Biguenet costruisce un saggio sul silenzio attingenti da varie fonti e da varie occasioni, con lo scopo di elogiare qualcosa che purtroppo nel nostro mondo contemporaneo meccanizzato e informatizzato ormai è difficile da trovare.
Purtroppo il saggio non mi è piaciuto. C’è troppa
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The consequences of living in a world without curtains may be as serious as the daily price paid for living in a world without silence" - J. Biguenet

Wow- second favorite instalment of the Object Lessons series so far! The author explores the biological impact of silence- both desired or through deafness, the use of silence in art and language in song and on stage, silencing of populations through genocide, breaking silences through torture, and so many more thought provoking ideas about an inta
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
How does silence or the lack thereof shape our lives? How is silence used to control? These are just a couple of questions that get explored in this book. I finished it five days ago and am still contemplating.
bihter sabanoglu
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I have translated this book to Turkish
Richard Anderson
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking little book.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mimes and shushers
Recommended to Kate by: 155.9115 BI
“Wovon man nicht reden kann, darueber muss man schweigen.” –LW (About that of which we cannot speak, we must remain silent.)

In the anechoic chamber, you become the sound.

Reading is a fitful silencing of the self.

Even speech can be a form of silence.

“Speech is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.” –HP

“Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.” –CG

“Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.” –GBS
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of John Biguenet's works. I read this book in one sitting because I absolutely couldn't put it down. "Silence" reads like a novel but is incredibly informative, everything you wish educational texts could be but rarely are. Biguenet manages to cover a wide range of information while still arranging it in a way that creates a very natural flow. By the end of the book you'll be seeing silence in ways you've never imagined and in places you've never thought possible. I won't spo ...more
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the Object Lessons series by Bloomsbury. In Silence, Biguenet takes a look at silence in an extended essay format, examining the role of silence in music, the idea of silent reading, silence in religion, silence as a part of punishment with solitary confinement, in the silencing of voices, and more. This was a fascinating read and I love the format of this series -- in depth looks at the cultural, historical, religious, artistic, etc perspectives about a particular topic. If you enjoy the ...more
Rebecca Rebecca
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reading
The book is a long essay on the meaning and aesthetics of silence. Biguenet examines silence as an absence, an action, a form of speech, a feature of music, and more. The most valuable passages discuss silence after Katrina -- the silence induced by that trauma. Yet some of his references to deafness show an lack of awareness of disability critique, where one should be. Overall, a good dip into sound theory.
Sheri Horton
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very thought provoking.
Morbus Iff
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
First "Objects" book I've read. Enjoyed. Silently reading is not silent, etc. More please. ...more
rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2017
rated it it was ok
Jul 10, 2017
roberto atzeni
rated it liked it
May 03, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2020
rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2021
rated it liked it
Sep 12, 2020
Tristan R Kneschke
rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2016
Simone La Rosa
rated it it was ok
Nov 06, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2016
Richard Whitelaw
rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Stop Reading the News: A Manifesto for a Happier, Calmer and Wiser Life
  • Pornage: viaggio nei segreti e nelle ossessioni del sesso contemporaneo
  • Less is more: Sull'arte di non avere niente
  • The Vagina Monologues
  • La Dragunera
  • Tutto chiede salvezza
  • Scheletri
  • Dio odia le donne
  • El baile
  • Helgoland
  • Black Water
  • A Babbo morto: Una storia di Natale
  • Il fantasma del lettore passato
  • L'altra figlia
  • Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead
  • The Myth of Sisyphus
See similar books…

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
52 likes · 13 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »