Review: The Silent Land

The Silent Land

The Silent Land
By Graham Joyce
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307739827, May 2012, 272pp.)

The Short of It:

Compelling, thought provoking yet utterly joyless in its bleakness.

The Rest of It:

While skiing in France, Jake and Zoe, a young married couple on vacation find themselves fighting for their lives when an avalanche strikes. Buried in snow, they somehow make their way off the mountain only to find that the entire village is completely empty. Not a soul in sight anywhere, not even at their hotel. Thinking that everyone else has been evacuated, they decide to get warm, eat some food and then venture out to see what they can find. But what they find is even more puzzling and as the days go on, and things become more confused, they begin to doubt their existence at all.

As Jake and Zoe stumble around their desolate landscape and the minutes begin to pass at an alarming rate, the reader is left to question what has really happened. There are no people, they can’t get through to anyone by phone and what Zoe sees sometimes differs from what Jake sees, which makes their situation even more puzzling. I think I knew early on what had taken place, but I was in denial and pushed it out of my mind. Easy to do when Joyce throws in little tidbits to keep you guessing.

The silent land that Joyce creates is a frightening one. One in which you can’t count on anything to be real or true; one that makes you question everything. It’s filled with doubt and forces you to consider what is really important. Some might say that the plot is a bit obvious, but honestly…even though I sort of knew what the outcome would be, it never affected my reading experience. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it made the reading experience even more bittersweet for me.

That said, I am so happy to have discovered Joyce. I’ve not read his work before and I see that he has several novels out. Have you read any of his books?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

25 thoughts on “Review: The Silent Land”

  1. I have not read anything he has written, but wow, this sounds pretty incredible. I think I need to know what this thing is all about.


    I’ve never heard of Joyce before, but this one does sound interesting. I’m guessing that the two are dead and that’s why no one is around? Sort of like LOST? Am I right? Now, I’m curious.

  3. I ran across some of his books long, long ago through a bookring at BookCrossing. They were mysterious. Thanks for sharing this new book.

  4. I haven’t read Joyce before, but I have a feeling that I know what happens in this one. It won’t stop me from reading it, because it sounds fascinating, even when it seems like it might be obvious what happened.

  5. You’ve got me curious about this one from your description of it. My first thought was just as Nadia said.

    1. I think if you were reading it, you’d figure out the plot early but it didn’t matter because the author throws some twists in to keep you guessing.

    1. I read some other reviews and so many of them give it all away. Yes, it is a little obvious once you get into the story but still.

    1. I could not get over how many books he has out and I have never heard of him before. I just stumbled across the book at the library.

    1. Amazon makes it sound like a supernatural thriller. I wouldn’t call it that but it does keep you guessing and it’s suspenseful in that you HAVE to find out what the hell is going on.

  6. I am so excited to see your review on this book. I read this one last year and loved it. I really didn’t see the ending coming until a few pages prior to the revelation. I thought this book was awesome!

    1. I saw it really early but then doubted myself for most of it until the very end and then I went back to read the last few paper…re: the tarot card thingy.

  7. This sounds interesting. I’m not sure what the plot exactly is – and I’ve only watched one season of Lost – but it sounds like a great book to listen too!

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