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Lies of Silence [Paperback]

Brian Moore
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2005
When Michael Dillon is ordered by the IRA to park his car in the carpark of a Belfast hotel, he is faced with a moral choice which leaves him with absolutely nowhere to turn. He knows that he is planting a bomb that would kill and maim dozens of people. But he also knows that if he doesn't, his wife will be killed.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Set in his native Belfast, this is Moore's ( The Color of Blood ) most powerful, meaningful and timely novel, one that will generate strong emotions and diverse opinions. Michael Dillon's literary aspirations vanished when he became the manager of a small hotel; he thinks of himself as "a failed poet in a business suit." Married to a shrewish, dependent woman, he has just decided to leave her and move to London with his lover, a young Canadian woman, when he is swept into Northern Ireland's daily violence. A group of IRA thugs invades his home and holds his wife hostage while Michael is directed to plant a bomb that will kill a Protestant minister. Seamlessly turning what begins as a drama of domestic unhappiness into a chilling thriller, Moore engages Michael in a moral dilemma: whether to risk his wife's safety but save countless other lives by informing the police of the bomb ticking in his car. Once made, Michael's decision leads to yet more excruciating choices, escalating the tension in a narrative that mirrors the conflict which neither camp can win. As he depicts the passions on both sides of the civil war, Moore excoriates both "Protestant prejudice and Catholic cant," deploring the ceaseless conflict in "this British Province founded on inequality and sectarian hate." If the novel seems, in retrospect, perhaps a little contrived, readers will remain riveted as it hurtles to an inevitable, cleverly plotted conclusion.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

First you take an adulterous husband, then you add a neurotic, bulemic wife; then enter the girlfriend, and you have a pretty fair story. But if you are Moore you put them in the middle of the troubles in Belfast and sic the IRA on them. The protagonist, Michael Dillon, is a hotel manager who thwarts a bomb attempt by double-crossing the terrorists. The wife goes on TV to speak out against the IRA, and life gets complicated. Michael Dillon's hesitations in deciding an issue of conscience are all too real. Moore builds tension by just describing the trip home. His other novels, Emperor of Ice Cream (LJ 8/65), Catholics (LJ 3/1/73), and The Great Victorian Collection (LJ 9/1/75), to name a diverse few, have won for him such prizes as the Royal Society of Literature award and the Governor General of Canada award for fiction. A good, quick, thought-provoking novel, recommended for general readers. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/90.
- Lynn Thompson, Ozark Re gional Lib., Ironton, Mo.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great book Dec 18 2001
By sabrina
Format:Hardcover
When I read the cover of this book, I really liked it. So I started reading, also for school. I really can say that I enjoyed reading this book, because it could be a reallife story!
I think Brian Moore did a great job to write this excellent book!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Book review: Brian Moore - Lies of silence Nov. 15 2003
Format:Paperback
Lies of silence is the most boring book i've ever read. What Brian Moore discribes on ca.130 pages could have benn written on max. 2 pages. In this book nothing really intersting happens. Anti-IRA-tirades, changing attitudes and two main characters who don't know what they really want. And this on 130pages repeating itself...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The author takes great risks and pulls it off...Wow! Oct. 21 2004
By K. Corn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This novel starts out at a deceptively languid pace and then rivets the tension up in an instant. Michael Dillon, an average hotel manager, is planning to ask his wife for a divorce. On the same evening, his life is turned upside down when two men burst into his home and hold his wife at gunpoint, asking him to carry a car loaded with a bomb to a specific destination - that or his wife will be killed.

If you think the plot sounds formulaic, think again. It veers off in all sorts of unpredictable directions as Dillon's private life suddenly becomes very public, his wife turns out to be far nobler than anyone might expect, etc.

Think about what sort of choices YOU might make if the eyes of the world were suddenly turned your way and every move you made was dissected and analyzed under a public microscope. Fascinating look at Irish politics and the tension between public and personal loyalties.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of Moore' best Dec 31 2002
By Glenn McLeod - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book, which was short listed for the Booker Literary Prize, is very typical of some of Moore's best works. The characterization of the three main characters, Michael Dillon, Moira and Andrea is brilliant. Each in a way a complex stereotypical actor caught in the lime light of the "troubles" in Northern Ireland. Michael, born and raised in Belfast is sensitive and bright and wants to fulfil his potential as a poet but is caught in the humdrum need to make a living because he married a woman, Moira, who's beauty he admired and longed for but who's mind he had never examined. Moira, was also raised in Belfast, and unlike Michael, longs to return to her birthplace. Bright, but vain and bulimic She is terrified of ageing but finds new strength and purpose when she decides to oppose the IRA. Andrea, a Canadian in England to study, cannot fathom the problems of Northern Ireland and only longs for peace and security with Michael Dillon.
The plot involves the attempted assassination of Northern Ireland's Protestant leader, Pottinger, by having Michael, the manager of a Hotel where Pottinger is giving a speech, drive a car bomb to just outside the hotel room where Pottinger is speaking. Meanwhile the IRA thugs hold Michael's wife hostage with the threat of killing her if he does not follow through. Michael at the last possible minute decides to alert the authorities because 100's might die if the bomb goes off. The fall out for everyone, Michael's wife Moira and his girl friend Andrea and the IRA are taut and filled with suspense.
Very good, well written thriller.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complicated psychological portrait Feb. 10 2000
By frumiousb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If a man no longer loves his wife (and perhaps never did) and has a choice between participating in the bombing of strangers or letting her be killed, what does he do?
This is the question that the book sets about answering, and spins out beautifully the consequences that follow on his actions. Nothing in the book is simple or clear cut, and the reader is not given the luxury of having a clear moral position to adopt. That is, except for the moral position of intolerance of violence and intolerance for the people who perpetrate it-- whatever the cost.
I was puzzled myself about why I didn't want to give this book five stars, but in the end although it was masterfully written, I found that it didn't contain spark or the flame I needed to carry it above just 'very good'. However, I will certainly seek out other books by the same writer in the future.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deadliest Sin March 20 2004
By JR Dunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Moore was a first-rate writer in the Graham Greene mode who failed to engage the interest of the literati and is slowly fading away as a result. "Lies of Silence" is as good an example as any as to why he deserves better.
The theme is sloth, the unwillingness to spiritually engage with anything that matters. Moore takes a typical disoriented, rootless modern type and places him in a situation where he *must* engage, then ruthlessly portrays the consequences of his failure. Moore's inference that our inability to deal decisively with terrorism is directly related to the contemporary spiritual vacuum was years ahead of its time, and is not going to lose its pertinence any time soon.
Other outstanding works by Moore include "The Doctor's Wife", "The Mangan Inheritance", and "Black Robe".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trapped between two impossibilities! Sept. 1 1999
By Margaret Fiore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This story is set in the socio-political turmoil of Northern Ireland. However, it is not about the political issues, but about a very personal dilemma. The main character of this novel is poised on the verge of leaving his wife for another woman - leaving his homeland, family, and job as well. The night he plans to break it to his wife, they are held hostage by political terrorists who threaten to kill his wife unless he bombs the hotel which he himself manages. His responsibility for the safety of his hotel staff and guests comes up smack against his guilt at the impending abandonment of his wife, and responsibility for her safety. He is trapped, trying to decide what is the "right" thing to do.
Love, guilt, terror, responsibility, and rage against a moral blackmail form the tortuous emotional landscape of this novel.
A driving read.
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