The Silent Land
By Graham Joyce
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385533805, 272pp.)
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
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Award-winning novelist and cult favorite Graham Joyce transports readers to a mysterious world of isolation and fear with a hypnotically dark story about a young couple trapped by an avalanche in the remote French Pyrenees. . . a daring and powerful novel about love, loss, and rebirth.
In the French Pyrenees, a young married couple is buried under a flash avalanche while skiing. Miraculously, Jake and Zoe dig their way out from under the snow—only to discover the world they knew has been overtaken by an eerie and absolute silence. Their hotel is devoid of another living soul. Cell phones and land lines are cut off. An evacuation as sudden and thorough as this leaves Jake and Zoe to face a terrifying situation alone. They are trapped by the storm, completely isolated, with another catastrophic avalanche threatening to bury them alive . . . again. And as the couple begin to witness unsettling events neither one can ignore, they are forced to confront a frightening truth about the silent land they now inhabit.
Award-winning author Graham Joyce has written a mysterious masterpiece, a tour de force that will thrill fans of Peter Straub and the hit television show Lost.
GRAHAM JOYCE, a winner of the O. Henry Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award, lives in Leicester, England, with his family. His books include How to Make Friends with Demons, Smoking Poppy, Indigo (a New York Times Notable Book of 2000), The Tooth Fairy (a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 1998), and Requiem, among others.
“A sensitive exploration of love’s redemptive power.” Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly
“This tour de force invites comparison to the work of Haruki Murakami and Ian McEwan.…. So perfectly rendered…. Joyce's skill at conveying the creepiness of inexplicable events creates undeniable tension…. The novel is encased, like the village, in a veil of ice and mystery…. The novel's conclusion is both beautiful and devastating with its insight into the lives of two decent, honest people. Few times while reading fiction have I been so overcome by how remembering the past and living in the moment combine to form the core of our existence. In The Silent Land - a classic in the making - Joyce's great and abiding gift is to make the reader feel this truth fiercely and protectively.” -- The Washington Post (Jeff VanderMeer)
“Stark, layered, ominous and yet appealing…Luckily for the reader, in the end Mr. Joyce delivers relief along with satisfaction and wonder.” --New York Times
“With TV's "Lost" having found its conclusion, and its successor on the pop culture landscape still missing in its own right, fans longing for a mysterious and mystical world to explore might consider visiting "The Silent Land," a tautly rendered new novel by British writer Graham Joyce… For all of "The Silent Land's" surreal chills and heavy-footed nods to spirituality, Jake and Zoe's relationship thoughtfully remains at the forefront with sharp banter and finely drawn moments of mutual reflection that carry an endearing grace…. As engaging as a twisted fireside yarn and paced almost as quickly, "The Silent Land" doesn't necessarily tell a new story, but it tells it with enough heartfelt panache to ensure its mystery — and its ultimately hopeful reflection of ours — never ceases to matter.” – Los Angeles Times
“World Fantasy Award-winner Graham Joyce may be the best guide available to the uncertain terrain of dreams, intoxication and madness…Joyce's crisp prose, transparent as ice crystals, is the perfect medium for [his] tale. Emotion-laden yet unsentimental, unflinchingly attuned to the fluencies of love, "The Silent Land" brings us to the brink of death and gives a glimpse of the unfathomable beauty lying beyond. – The Seattle Times