This wonderful book mesmerizes the reader with dulcet tones, lento, pronto. Set in a dystopian futuristic London where The Chimes steal memory and keep the populace placid, unknowing and under control. However, there are some who have the ability to remember; Simon is one.
When his parents die he goes to London in search of a mysterious woman who can help him keep hold of his memories; instead he becomes part of a scavenging pact – hunting for bits of iron ore – The Lady – prized for its use by the people who control The Chimes.
Anna Smaill was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for this book and it is obvious why. This is not a light read; to be honest it is my second attempt. It requires commitment but is worth every minute spent in its company. The tale is told through the eyes of Simon – he is young and doesn’t always understand what he is seeing. He describes things in the way of music and he is also adept at Softerfuge – a form of sign language that follows Doh, Ray, Me, Fa, So, Lah…
If you have time for the necessary concentration and the commitment to really switch off in order to fully enjoy this magical novel, you will not be disappointed. Suitable for fans of Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss or Terry Pratchett’s Long Earth series.