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Voice of Our Shadow [Mass Market Paperback]

Jonathan Carroll


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Book Description

November 1984
For Joe Lennox, successful young writer, Vienna provides a refuge from the tragedy of his brother's death, until he starts up a friendship with the eccentric India Tate and her magician husband Paul. Gradually Joe falls in love with India, but Paul finds out - before he suddenly drops dread. And now Joe has two deaths on his conscience and another voice calling from beyond the grave ...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (November 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441865844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441865840
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.9 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g

Product Description

About the Author

Jonathan Carroll was born in America but has lived most of his adult life in Vienna. His prizewinning novels have been translated into 17 languages. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Storytelling for Carroll June 6 2006
By Daniel H. Bigelow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Jonathan Carroll is an author I read for his excellent writing technique, his just-slightly-askew-from-nature supernatural twists, and his cosmopolitan viewpoint. All this he delivers with admirable regularity; he's become a brand name and practically a genre unto himself to a lot of folks. However, I have come to expect him to lose focus towards the end of his books: he values precision in writing and plot up until the end, where he enjoys leaving lots of things unsaid and lots of threads hanging. This is ideal for book-club discussions, but not so much for me: I know Carroll considers it a feature, but it's something I have to forgive him for rather than something I buy his books for.

This book is less like that than most of his work. The story -- about a young author who finds himself betraying those closest to him and who reaps supernatural consequences -- contains liberal helpings of Carroll's delightfully eccentric characters and unusual details, written with Carroll's usual precision. And it has Carroll's trademark highly imaginative magical touches -- you'd be amazed how scared Carroll can make you with a pair of white gloves, a hat, and some wind-up birds. But it also has a tidy -- and highly disquieting -- conclusion; perhaps the best Carroll has ever created. That, and the comparatively little space the fantastic elements take up in the book, make this a likely good entry point for readers new to Carroll's work.

And, for those who are new to Carroll's work, I suggest finding an entry point. Carroll is a one-of-a-kind fantasist and one of the best authors working today; he should have cross-genre appeal for anyone who admires excellent writing and original thinking. Check him out.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and disquieting Feb. 14 2003
By N. Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a wonderfully original and understated novel: a coming-of-age story with a mystery at its heart, embellished with fantasy elements that become stronger and more integral as the book heads to its conclusion. Unlike much fantasy writing these days, there's no unnecessary padding here; rather, you're left wanting more.
The setting (predominantly Vienna) is evoked with a nicely economic style, while the (few) characters come to life naturally through their words and actions. The creeping unease builds gradually, and is never overdone - and the ending packs a considerable punch. I enjoyed it immensely, although if you like your fiction strictly explicable and grounded in reality you may find some of the developments a touch difficult to swallow.
This recently came back into print in the UK; if you can get hold of a copy, do: you can read it in an evening and you won't be disappointed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Friendship Love Jealousy Deceit Crime and Punishment Oct. 16 2003
By "eserhan2" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Short but intense novel on hardships of growing up, even later in life as an adult. Carroll's first book is one powerful account of an anti-hero, who is bullied and ignored in his childhood as a weak, unimportant character, left to envy others and hate himself. As suspected, his past catches up eventually, even in Vienna, thousands of miles away from home. The story drives its power from the honesty of its narrator, ringing so true that one thinks it is possibly relying on some real-life experience: a.k.a. first novel being biographical. Very interesting, original in its ideas on misperception and mistreatment of others and of oneself. I compare this one favorably against the critically appraised, award winning Carroll book "Land of Laughs".
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning March 19 2001
By Jim Shine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read and enjoyed Outside The Dog Museum, I sat down with this book one Sunday evening knowing nothing about it except author and title - I didn't even read the back cover. And I did not leave my chair until I had finished. Seriously. Riveting, suspenseful, unexpected: few books have drawn me in to this extent.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A subtle fantasy Sept. 29 2007
By Mikko Saari - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Voice of Our Shadow is the story of Joe Lennox. As a kid, he kills his delinquent brother, kind of accidentally, but manages to suppress the guilt. He turns his brother's story into a short story. The story is made into a play, making enough money for Joe so he can move to Vienna to live a life as a writer.

In Vienna, he learns to love the city, meets some friend and finds love - but unfortunately in a wrong place, with a wrong person. Soon Joe has another death on his conscience. A nightmare begins, as the fantastical elements of this story come to life. The story has elements of horror and supernatural.

Jonathan Carroll has written a beautiful and fast-moving book. It's not my favourite of his work, but even a weaker Carroll book is still a good one. Worth reading, but don't start with this is you're new to the world of Jonathan Carroll.

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