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Silence Once Begun

by (Text Publishing)

(52 reviews)

£8.26 £8.56

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Description

An astonishing novel of unjust conviction, lost love and a journalist's obsession.

Over the course of several months, eight people vanish from their homes in the same Japanese town, a single playing card found on each door. Known as the 'Narito Disappearances', the crime has authorities baffled - until a confession is delivered to the police, signed by Oda Sotatsu, a thread salesman.

Sotatsu is arrested, jailed, and interrogated - but he refuses to speak. Even as his parents, brother and sister come to visit him, even as his execution looms, and even as a young woman named Jito Joo enters his cell, he maintains his vow of silence.

Our narrator, a journalist named Jesse Ball, is grappling with mysteries of his own when he becomes fascinated by the case. Why did Sotatsu confess? Why won't he speak? Who is Jito Joo? As Ball interviews Sotatsu's family, friends, and jailers, he uncovers a complex story of heartbreak, deceit, honour and chance.

Wildly inventive and emotionally powerful, Silence Once Begun is a devastating portrayal of a justice system compromised, and evidence that Jesse Ball is a voraciously gifted novelist working at the height of his powers.

Jesse Ball is the author of three previous novels including Samedi the Deafness. His prizes include the 2008 Paris Review Plimpton Prize; his verse has been included in the Best American Poetry series. He gives classes on lucid dreaming and lying in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's MFA Writing program.

'Strange, brief, beguiling... Ball's talents, both as a storyteller and a writer of prose, tend to burst the borders of his structures. His language is chastely lyrical, with a discreet musicality... He is often appealingly funny, in an absurdist manner.' James Wood, New Yorker

'"Jesse Ball" investigates a series of disappearances, a wrongful conviction and a love story in modern-day Osaka, Japan. [He] makes readers' heads spin yet again with a darker but more tempered version of his strange, almost whimsical multimedia creations... There's no denying the fascination his aberrant storytelling inspires.' Kirkus Reviews

'Beginning as a work of seeming reportage, Silence Once Begun transforms into a graceful and multifaceted fable on the nature of truth and identity.' Wall Street Journal

'Ball's spare, meditative, Rashomon-like novel, a work of exceptional control and exquisite nuance, consists of contradictory transcripts, poetic letters, a striking fable, and melancholy musings. Enigmatic black-and-white photographs add to the subtly cinematic mode. With echoes of Franz Kafka, Paul Auster, and Kobo Abe, Ball creates an elegantly chilling and provocatively metaphysical tale.' Booklist

'A unique book with an experimental style. Ball is skilful in his ability to meld a complex plot with cross-cultural differences and a peculiar interview/transcript presentation... Haunting and discomforting.' Salty Popcorn

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Price Summary

  • We started tracking this book on May 10, 2015.
  • This book was £8.97 when we started tracking it.
  • The price of this book has changed 195 times in the past 2,033 days.
  • The current price of this book is £8.26 last checked 7 hours ago.
  • This lowest price this book has been offered at in the past 90 days is £7.12.
  • This lowest price this book has been offered at in the past year is £4.67.
  • The lowest price to date was £2.90 last reached on November 29, 2015.
  • This book has been £2.90 one time since we started tracking it.
  • The highest price to date was £10.55 last reached on March 12, 2020.
  • This book has been £10.55 one time since we started tracking it.

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Additional Info

  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 258 Pages
  • File Size: 1,796 KB

We last verified the price of this book about 7 hours ago. At that time, the price was £8.26. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the Amazon.co.uk website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.