Thursday, January 15, 2015


Noise by Brett Garcia Rose

The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police-some corrupt, some merely compromised-are of little help. They don't like Leon's methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he's ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.

Where is Lily?


3.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Gritty, and hard to put down.January 13, 2015
This review is from: Noise (Kindle Edition)
**Reviewed for EBooks Galore**

Noise is one of those novels that defies easy description. Part thriller, part mystery, part fictional memoir, the story simultaneously captivates you and leaves you wanting more.
The book is told from Leon's perspective - he is an American man, deaf, and adopted as a child from the streets of Nigeria. Several mentions are made to his ears, making one think some kind of injury or deformation must exist, but this is never fully detailed or explained in the story. Indeed, we learn very little of his American life... we discover how Leon's early African life is well detailed, but why he was adopted or how his upbringing was after that remains vague and under-written.
What we do learn about is his adopted sister, Lily. Burdened by an unexplained weight, she disappears (in a presumed suicide) when Leon is still a child. Ten years later, though, he receives a post card in her handwriting, which draws him to New York City so he can rescue her.

This book was plot-driven and fast paced. It kept me turning pages until the end, even though as I read I had a *lot* of questions. I found Leon's search for Lily and his actions/behavior believable and clever, and never cliché. It's hard not to root for Leon, even though he's doing things that aren't "nice."

The reason the book only got three stars is because for me, it was too sparse in terms of language and fleshed-out details. I was left with too many holes in the picture. Perhaps they weren't absolutely necessary to the bare bones of the plot, but I kept getting pulled from the action to wonder about something that is hinted at, then left alone. The author mentions an editor that had him cut a lot from the story, and I can't help but wonder if this is why I felt like things were missing. In addition, I felt like Leon knew some things/had some opinions of things that he probably wouldn't have (see the quote below. I love it, but I don't know how Leon knows what Harlem kids would think since he has never lived in NY before).

Favorite quote:
We have the same view of safari as kids in Harlem have of Disneyland. We know it exists, we know it's for other people, we know we'll never see it, and if we did see it, we know we would hate the world that created it and excluded us.

In the end, I recommend it if you're looking for a quick, gritty novel that is unique and interesting despite a few holes.
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