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The Silent History

By: Eli Horowitz,Matthew Derby,Kevin Moffett
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman,LJ Ganser
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Editor reviews

Editors Select, January 2015 - My initial awareness of The Silent History was its unique premise: starting around present day, children are born without the cognitive functions to understand and use language. So what happens to society when an entire generation loses its words? It sounded like the basis of a great Charlie Kaufman film or Black Mirror episode and I wondered how it would translate to the audio format. The answer: amazingly well. And the reason is that this is a sci-fi story about language, told through the individual testimonials of parents, teachers, and doctors who now face this strange new world. Gabra Zackman and LJ Ganser deliver dazzling performances, expertly voicing this inventive and extraordinary oral history. —Doug, Audible Editor

Summary

A generation of children forced to live without words.

It begins as a statistical oddity: a spike in children born with acute speech delays. Physically normal in every way, these children never speak and do not respond to speech; they don't learn to read, don't learn to write. As the number of cases grows to an epidemic level, theories spread. Maybe it's related to a popular antidepressant; maybe it's environmental. Or maybe these children have special skills all their own. The Silent History unfolds in a series of brief testimonials from parents, teachers, friends, doctors, cult leaders, profiteers, and impostors (everyone except, of course, the children themselves), documenting the growth of the so-called silent community into an elusive, enigmatic force in itself - alluring to some, threatening to others. Both a bold storytelling experiment and a propulsive reading experience, Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby, and Kevin Moffett's The Silent History is at once thrilling, timely, and timeless.

©2014 Ying Horowitz & Quinn (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about The Silent History

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  • Doug - Audible
  • 31-03-15

A Thought-Provoking Premise

My initial awareness of The Silent History was in its unique premise: starting around present day, children are born without the cognitive functions to understand and use language. Then I learned of its unorthodox and groundbreaking publication - as it was originally released as a serialized electronic novel written and designed for the iPad and iPhone.

So what happens to society when an entire generation loses its words? It sounded like the basis of a great Charlie Kaufman film or Black Mirror episode and I wondered how it would translate to the audio format. The answer: amazingly well. And the reason is because this is a sci-fi story about language, told through the individual testimonials of parents, teachers, and doctors who now face this strange new world. Gabra Zackman and LJ Ganser deliver dazzling performances, expertly voicing this inventive and extraordinary oral history.

7 people found this helpful

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  • BookLady
  • 28-01-15

Boring, boring, boring.

I preordered this book and started listening as soon as it arrived. As a rule I enjoy books that look at the world through the eyes of people perceived as being different to the norm.

This book looks in on a group known as 'Silents', children born without the ability to communicate with language.

Sounds fascinating doesn't it, but here's the downfall, it is told through a series of interviews.....far, far too many interviews. It is slow, it is draw out, it is BORING!!!

Three hours (26 chapters) in, eleven hours ( 81 chapters ) still to go and I don't even want to skip to the last chapter, ... I am so bored I don't care what happens in the end.
I'll be returning 'The Silent History' pity I can't get a refund on the time I wasted.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 05-03-15

Really appreciated it in this format.

I read this in its original form, which was much easier to digest, but it was written to be an oral history anyway, so it really lent itself to this format. The performances were good and varied across many voices which was great; but thinking back, there were definitely voices missing from this version that were in the original "book." In any case, I really enjoyed it, but I can understand where some people who have no previous knowledge of it would be fatigued by The Silent History and how long it seems to drag on.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Regina
  • 02-03-15

could have been interested

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

the Author had a good idea then ruined it by it by having too many twists.

3 people found this helpful

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  • CheC&W
  • 25-11-20

Deep questions, a through the looking glass view..

A wonderful "what if" story about social marginalization due to a mysterious malady in the speech center of the brain. A brilliant premise carried along a quirkie tour de force across the US. Always turning a lens on social structures, expectations and the need by the unafflicted to enforce conformity, engage in hysteria, or sensationalism –or append a mystical valence–on society's misfits.

Both amusing and ringing true. A karmic fable in which a deep need for profound connection drives a handful of characters along a question path — who and what are we? For what could we be without language comprehension of any kind?

I bought this audio book immediately after listening to "Phreaks", same authors. Superb writing and performances!

2 people found this helpful

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  • G. Griggs
  • 04-04-15

Very Dissappointed not what i thought it was.

The Narration was Fine. I thought this was a book about Indigo and Crystal Children, but no.
It was made for Cell phone users, a seek and find interactive Who-done-it, which is fine, but So BORING as a Fiction book. 1/3rd of the way in i was looking for a rope. So i turned it off instead. For some reason you can not Return this Book, so more then Disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • LA Brickner
  • 13-11-15

Shocking, intriguing, provoking, funny

Any additional comments?

This book was recommended by a friend. I probably wouldn't have chosen it based on the synopsis, but I'm so glad I did. Very thought provoking while managing to make me laugh out loud at times. It reminds me of "The Girl With All The Gifts" -- a twist on the zombie genre.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J
  • 13-02-15

stunning and powerful

A beautiful story that doesn't turn away from the less desirable side of humanity. Solid characters, that show realistic growth throughout the story. Both performers deliver solid believable voices for the the vast array of characters. Could not stop listening. highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Colleen Burnie
  • 13-02-15

Interesting Concept; Poorly Executed

What did you like best about The Silent History? What did you like least?

When I read the synopsis of the book, I was really intrigued. I have to say though that the story itself wasn't as good as the concept behind it. I was honestly pretty board a lot of the time and found that the character development was stilted.

Would you be willing to try another book from the authors? Why or why not?

Probably not.

What about Gabra Zackman and LJ Ganser ’s performance did you like?

I thought the performers did a good job. They varied their accents and were consistent. I would listen to them again, for sure.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zirrus
  • 07-09-20

Incredibly Nuanced

There are layers of meaning in this novel, a succinct expose’ of modern life as well as of our ego-laden inner chatter. As a lifelong extrovert who has crammed her life with experiences, people and too much talking, it’s been a wonderful reminder of the power of simple living in the moment.