Silence can be worth waiting for

Silence by Rodney Hall


I rarely read short stories so this book was a bit of a departure for me.  I found I needed to come and go with them. I didn’t want to keep reading one after another as I needed some time between them.  Some I just didn’t  ‘get’ at all I have to say, but it didn’t really matter, as they made me think.  There is a cover quote from David Mitchell who said he read it in a single day. I couldn’t possibly have done that, as with quite a few of the stories I was left hanging, and occasionally frustrated that it had ended.  But now, having just seen the movie adaptation of We need to talk about Kevin, it made me realise how clever that is.  The movie doesn’t show you all of the horror, you see most of it reflected it Tilda Swinton’s face.  It didn’t ‘show’ us, it left a lot up to the viewer to get it. It was a wonderful rendering of the book, and strangely has made me see Rodney Hall’s Silence slightly differently.  Instead of feeling frustrated, I feel like Hall is giving the reader a bit of credit for being able to work it out, or at least imagine what has been unsaid.


The stories vary enormously in time, place and length.  There is no common thread but Hall’s writing, which varies in tone depending on the time setting, but never in fluency is worthy of the time spent, and I spent a lot of time with this book. I’ve come out of it happy that I stayed with it, and I’ve learned that patience, perhaps even Silence is worth the ride.

Paperback, $25







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