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Zero Decibels: The Quest for Absolute Silence Hardcover – May 18 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (May 18 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416599592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416599593
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #749,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"George Foy has written the perfect antidote for our increasingly noisy age. Zero Decibels is meditative, witty, lyrical, and fascinating. Every page is a revelation."
—Alan Burdick, author of Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion

“As questing beasts go, silence proves to be as elusive as an aural unicorn in a dense thorny forest of attention-shredding noise. That a writer such as George Michelson Foy should apply his immense brain power and obsessive investigative skills to stalking this intriguing prey is a surprise and a pure delight. The result is a lively, elegantly written examination of nothing no less than our existence, as it pours into, and out of, our humble ears. The art and science of hearing has found its poet laureate.”—Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands and The Immaculate Invasion

Zero Decibels is the result of George Foy's year-long and personal quest for silence. A passionate and provocative study, it should be on everyone's must-read list.”—Anne D. LeClaire, author of Listening Below the Noise: The Transformative Power of Silence

"A compelling, lyrical exploration of an increasingly rare and elusive place: silence. Foy employs every means that modernity offers both to measure the pervasiveness and power of noise in modern life and to escape it. The results of his journey offer us not just a deeper appreciation of silence but, more surprisingly, of sound."—Charles Siebert, author of The Wauchula Woods Accord

About the Author

George Michelsen Foy is the author of one non-fiction book and co-author of another. He has published twelve novels, some under a pseudonym. He has been an investigative reporter, writer, and/or editor for BusinessWeek, the International Herald Tribune, the Cape Cod Times, and the Register, and his articles, reviews, and stories have been published by Rolling Stone, The Boston Globe, Harper’s, and Men’s Journal. He has also held jobs as tunnel laborer, shipping clerk, merchant seaman and forklift operator. He was educated at the London School of Economics and Bennington College, and teaches creative writing at New York University. He lives in coastal Massachusetts with his wife, two children, and one Maine coon cat.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Predictable message, but interesting journey Oct. 14 2010
By W. John Harrison - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although the conclusion isn't very satisfying, the writing is lively and engaging, teaching what it needs to as it explores the author's quest.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Zero Decibels by George Foy June 29 2011
By JohnBurns - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Encapsulates how much we are constantly assaulted by noise. Foy looks at all angles of sound, hearing and silence. I found his final thesis a bit disappointing.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Much too much authorial noise Jan. 22 2011
By M. Lang - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful concept, with a few fascinating nuggets, unfortunately buried in a noisy ocean of the author's introspective and self-centered perspective, which totally drowns out the essence of the topic. If I want to read about someone's personal perspective on life, I suggest Montaigne, not Michelsen.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great addition to our meager library! Dec 11 2013
By GunHawk - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our books are always chosen for a purpose. a person and for our reading pleasure. Any that we order here we have researched and they are instantly a favorite in our library!
14 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Can't wait to read it! May 28 2010
By T. Hadley - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Heard the author interviewed on NPR: Here & Now. The topic is interesting and timely, given the amount of ambient noise we have to put up with every day, and the toll it takes on our lives. Hearing health is a neglected area in our society and any examination of the dangers, physical & psychological, are welcome.