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They Whisper Hardcover – Mar 14 1994


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Hardcover, Mar 14 1994
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd (March 14 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436202107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436202100
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
The first thing that attracted me to 'They Whisper' was its cover. I found it very beautiful with this dark red in the background and the photo of a male and famale body in blue. But when I started reading the book I was hooked by Robert Olen Butler's style and narrative. This is not an easy book. Full of undertones, and with a specific pace, masses will never be able to enjoy it. It requires a lot of strengh to go through all the pain of its pages.
Ira Holloway is the narrator, but form time to time he lets women he knows to speak for themselves, rather these women whisper to him their inner thought and desires, their view of the situation. When he meets Fiona, they immediately fall in love, and get married, but they can have a normal life, because both are hunted by dark past secrets that may lead the to hell. Him from the Vietan war, and beautiful Vietnamese that he loved. Her secrets are about her childhood, and they may push her toward madness. After his son is born he changes completely --well, sort of-- and starts to concentrate his love on the boy --and consequently to the boy's mother (his wife), once he doesn't her to suffer and make the kid suffer too. And this is really beautiful.
It is admirable how sincere Butler is when it comes to both male and female feelings. One may wonder how he knows so much about human psyche and the process of loving and desiring someone. This book is a great read, but, again, not for everyone. Some people may be offended by Butler sincerity and even call him sexist-- what is not true. Moreover, it is a book that it is not easy to forget.
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By Judy Edwards on Oct. 14 2002
Format: Paperback
I couldn't get into this book. The man is obsessed by women and seems to think about nothing else. Then he does not love his woman and plays the suffering martyr. The only good thing I can say about it was his great love and sacrifices he made for his son. It is worth reading just for this part. But the sex is pretty routine and not what I consider erotica.
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By Keesak on May 21 2002
Format: Paperback
Butler sneaks a deep peak into all the women he loved. When he makes love to every one of them, he mysteriously could sense their inner feelings. He then tries to grasp and transelate their fear, love and emotions into an understanding. The book is beautifully crafted, even though i felt boredome towards the end.
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Format: Paperback
butler is another louisiana writer i have come to appreciate. not many male writers can write female characters well...this guy is so good it, makes you wonder if he lives inside their heads...maybe he grew up in a house full of women?.....the dialog is excellent...and the female characters are as intriguing as the protagonist...some people griped about the glorification of prostitution...but it is a necessary evil...it's more honest for a guy to pay for sex, than it is for him to wine and dine a woman, giving her expensive gifts, to get her into bed with him....
i thought fiona's story was excellent , yet sad....
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By A Customer on Oct. 25 2000
Format: Paperback
What I admire about the novel is the lyrical intensity of its (often successful) attempt to recreate erotic obsession. What I don't admire is a redundancy of detail and motif that often veers toward monotony. Scenery is well drawn (Southeast Asia, NYC, various rural outposts of the US) and dialogue is generally terse. Though plot is not a dominant element here, being subsidiary to image and tone, it's sometimes a bit formulaic, especially the end. It's worthwhile if you're a patient reader and enjoy psychic/linguistic convolutions.
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Format: Paperback
Butler steps in and creates a whirling erotic novel that makes one appreciate all the subtleties of sexual relationships. Ira Halloway, the protagonist, lives for love (and sex, of course); he breaths it; he thrives on it. He carries the memories of his former lovers, memories that lie as secrets inside him. These women's voices whisper to him, reminding him of intimate moments: back in Vietnam as a soldier among cocoa-skinned prostitutes, in Illinois as a hormone-driven boy, in New York as a father-lover. The prose flows smoothly like his thoughts and Butler must get credit for this. Beautiful language. And most of the story takes place in Halloway's mind, where his brain tries to make sense of his landscape of lovers. He remembers the parts of women's bodies as though they are religious idols: the insteps, the toes, the rounded shoulders, the rose-tinted nipples, and just about every other crevice and appendage that a woman has. All these memories create nervous conflict. His wife, once the victim of incest, turns deeply religious---fanatical---and Halloway must tread lightly around her struggles or risk losing both her and, more importantly, their son. I enjoyed the book, and if I have anything critical to say about it, I'd have to accuse it as being long-winded and monotonous at times. Read it anyway and form your own opinion.
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By A Customer on Dec 17 1999
Format: Paperback
Beautiful language; slightly erotic. Interesting perspective on women from a male point of view. About two-thirds of the way through it becomes a bit boring, but continue reading. It has an interesting view at the end.
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By A Customer on Aug. 27 1999
Format: Paperback
Worth the read just for the prose. Butler is the current king of erotic literature, with an ability to write it out so that you feel every single nuance of his desires.
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