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The Island of Whispers

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  49 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
RICHARD ADAMS meets GEORGE ORWELL in this story of a colony of rats living on an island under the world-famous Forth Rail Bridge. Ruled over by an Inner Circle of evil fat rats, and in fear for their lives, a group of lowly Watchers attempts to brave the stormy waters and scale the giant bridge in a bid for freedom. But celebrations for the bridge's centenary are about to ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published January 14th 2013 by McStorytellers (first published June 12th 2009)
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Mark Goodwin
A Society of Rats in which the oppressed revolt. This novel will grab you quickly and not let you go. The heroism and the sacrifices made by the leaders to overcome the tyranny of the Inner Circle mirrors what happens in our own human societies. When you read this, you will quickly forget that you are reading about rats. They take on such strong characteristics, that you will forget they are rats and think of them as humans fighting for a better life and survival. !!!

This will take the average r
Kevin Berg
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Island of Whispers really took me by surprise. In a good way.

I enjoyed the tale of Twisted Foot, and his difficult life as a Watcher. Evil rulers, through the violence and oppression carried out by the Hunters and Protectors, make life miserable for the Watchers and anyone that disagrees with rules that were created so long ago, still enforced through fear and the stories of death for so many in the past.

This is the first Gisby experience I have had, and I couldn’t have picked a better work
Robert Cowan
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read many of Gisby’s books and other than a good read you never know what you’re in for. This is a writer who can turn his hand to anything and is all the more interesting for it. I loved it.
With Island of whispers, we’re taken to a world of rats made human. As mentioned elsewhere, Water ship down and Animal farm have trod similar territory but, set on his own turf, this is pure Gisby. The book finds a good balance between political insight, empathy and entertainment in a way that gave me a
Aug 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the blurb one would assume that this book is a combination of Adams' "Watership Down" and Orwell's "Animal Farm" (or perhaps "1984" as I first did, but how rats would use technology to spy on each other was beyond me). And because of that blurb and mostly positive reviews I decided to give it a shot. Well, let's just say that blurb was half-right and that it is a little hyperbolic. :-) Understandable from a publisher's point of view, but perhaps irritating to a reader who is expecting m ...more
George Polley
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reminiscent of Richard Adams’ Watership Down, Brendan Gisby’s novel is a mesmerizing tale of conquest, enslavement and yearning for a life of freedom from oppression and want.

Set in Scotland in an ancient ruined monastery on the island of Inchgarvie that was abandoned during the Middle Ages, “The Island of Whispers” tells the story of the conquest and subjugation of the island’s indigenous black rat population by much larger (cat-size larger) brown rats that arrived from passing ships. Enslaved,
Bryn Hammond
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: imagined-fiction
I have a partiality for animal fiction, whether it's the type that explores the real lives of animals, or the type that uses their lives, mostly, to explore us. It isn't an either/or; the animal fiction I like does both. This one isn't out to teach me about rats; though the setting, an islet called Inchgarvie near the great Firth of Forth railway bridge, with the remains of a monastery and a WWII gun emplacement, is extremely real and present, as the author grew up in these parts. He has notable ...more
Michele Brenton
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I'd finished this book I felt as though I'd been flattened by a steamroller. I can't in honesty say I enjoyed it. I am not built to enjoy suffering and these rats suffer. From page one it keeps on going, horrendous experience after horrendous experience. It is well written, has a good story arc, makes sense within the 'reality' created by the storyteller and if you like that sort of thing - then you will love this example of that sort of thing. In fact as an example of that sort of thing it ...more
Angela Oliver
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
This was highly enjoyable animal novel in the spirit of Watership Down. It is not a cute-animal-story-for-children story - for the life of the rats is brutal - filled with cannibalism, violence and rape. The rat society and the ways in which they and the human world interact were interesting. This is the story of Twisted Foot, a mildly deformed Watcher rat who realises that there is a way out of the miserable life of servitude in their tiny colony and strives to escape it. The story is a very si ...more
Robert Davidson
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Island of Whispers is a powerful, atmospheric tale of the deprived, less than perfect individual who takes a stand against the evil dominance of those more powerful than him and attempts to escape the bonds of servitude. The protagonist, a cripple named Twisted Foot, is a thinker, and eventually a planner, who enlists the aid of other unfortunate beings in a group bid for freedom. The author takes us into the dark underworld of rattus rattus, which has its own powerful class divisions and so ...more
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually really enjoyed the story. Wasn't sure what I was in for, narrated by rats. It felt just like human life in a controlled and dominated society, with physically descriptive names. Rooting for the underdog came quickly for me.
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Brendan Gisby was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, halfway through the 20th century, and was brought up just along the road in South Queensferry (the Ferry) in the shadow of the world-famous Forth Bridge. He now lives in splendid isolation in the wilds of Strathearn in Scotland.

Retiring from a business career in 2007, Brendan has devoted himself to writing. To date, he has published four novels, four
More about Brendan Gisby...