Keilani Ludlow's Reviews > The Bells

The Bells by Richard Harvell
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U 50x66
's review
Mar 10, 2011

did not like it

Spoilers -I'm probably going to get chewed out for my moral views for this review but -
Ugh. The underlying story is interesting. The son of a deaf/mute woman from a small hill town has through the course of events, developed or maybe even been born with the ability to hear sound very differently, hear little details, great distance, how bits and pieces of sound go together. His description of what he hears is in great color and detail. It could be beautiful but the surrounding of the story is coarse and vulgar. His father was a priest who repeatedly raped his mother as she had no means to stop him. His father thinks he's mute too, but then tries to kill him when he finds out the boy can talk and therefore can give away his secret. He is saved by two priests who of course turn out to be gay. He's taken to a monastery and it's discovered that he has the voice of an angel. At some point a priest castrates him to preserve his voice. The story goes on...

My dislike of the story is this, the graphic, coarse, vulgar descriptions. The choir-leader priest who touches, pokes, caresses, coaxes him into his best singing? Sexual abuse? Hard to say but it's definitely on your mind while reading this. The main character's graphic descriptions of the different sounds of sex at various houses as he listens outside the window, the feeling he has as a girl bends over and he can see she's not wearing underwear under her dress, the descriptive near-sex experience (because of course he's castrated) with the girl he likes, and so on. I got about half way through and gave it up and it should have been sooner. Again, the underlying story could be interesting, the description of sound is interesting, but the dirt surrounding it makes it not worth the effort.
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03/23/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Where do you find these books?

Keilani Ludlow The sad thing is that I read reviews on Goodreads raving about how great this book is. There is another I reviewed lately with multiple vulgar and crass occurances throughout, and I reviewed it as such. I said that the underlying story could have been interesting but if so, it was destroyed by all the vulgar musings of the main character. I've been sort of chewed out by two other readers who think it's wrong that someone may not read this "wonderful" book because of my poor review. I mentioned that if someone doesn't read the book due to my review, it's because they don't like reading such vulgar material. People are weird. That book had rave reviews too! I'm going to stick to only those that are reviewed by people I know. I can read the summary of a book anywhere, I read these reviews to know the content so that I don't get halfway through books like the one above before figuring out that it really just isn't going to get any better. It's weird to me that people consider content to be "immaterial" if the imagery or underlying meaning is supposed to be inspirational or thought provoking. Yeah, it provoked some thoughts in me alright.

message 3: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda Thanks Keilani. I personally appreciate reviews of this nature. I don't want to read vulgar books and this let me know I would not want to read it.

Keilani Ludlow Thanks for your comments! I signed up for goodreads just so that I could avoid the ugly books and get ideas for books that wouldn't have crossed my mind to read otherwise. I've definitely gotten some negative responses to some of my reviews, which I find totally weird. If you don't like my review, read someone else's review. Not the end of the world. It's weird that I get so agitated by complete strangers chewing me out, I should just not even care, but there you go. Thanks for your little happy note in my day!

message 5: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda It is really strange. I purchased some books from amazon fromt he YA section thinking I would be safe. I was so upset witht the first chapter of the first book that I sent all of them back. This set of books received a Librarians Reader award. You can't even trust award winning YA books.

Sharon Clearly this book is not for everyone.

Emily I strongly disagree with your opinion. I defiantly get offended with crass, crude or way inappropriate sex in books but I never once thought this book reached that point. Even with the castration I thought it was tastefully written. Some people go through things in there life so when we read books it can bring out good or bad memories so maybe that's where you are coming from. Talking about intimate things aren't bad when written with care and tact which I thought the author did beautifully.

message 8: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben Art that is only 'nice' is not art.

Lisa I am a horrible prude and didn't find this book to be vulgar, crass or crude. I thought the book was VERY well written and very sensitive to the subject nature of the book!

message 10: by Erma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erma I agree with the coarse, vulgar descriptions - describing the sounds "the fat fly's ecstatic hum as he hops from shit to urine".

message 11: by Arax (new) - rated it 1 star

Arax Sahinyan I completely agree with this review. Felt exactly the same about this book and just dropped it after he met the monks. Waste of time and plot.

message 12: by Kristen (new)

Kristen If people disagree, that's their right, but I for one, appreciate the details you gave as I'm trying to avoid wasting my time with trashy books. And of course, you get no indication of these things from the blurb on the back of the book....
Good story or not, I don't particularly want to have to sift through all the crap to get to it.

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