Monday, 6 August 2012

Painter of Silence Georgina Harding
An Orange short listed book of 2012. This one is written by an author I had heard of but not read and was recommended by my local bookseller at Red Lion Books
Usually I shy away from books which may or may not get awards so this was a step outside my comfort zone.

Based in Romania in the 1950's it tells the story of a deaf and mute man's life through his attempts to interact with those around him, be they those who have known him for his entire life of those who have recently met him following the war.

With his skills as an artist he attempts to portray the major incidents of his personal life throughout the war, in the field and at his home.

It takes concentration, mainly because of the need to imagine a lack of words. Once you get as far as the shift involved to achieve this it's a magical book for it's pure skill. I'm not even an artist so the drawings had to be pictured as well.

The emotions of the lead character as frustration in some periods set in, the lack of understanding of the person he was trying to explain to, even this is worked in without words or even necessarily rage.

The subtleties of the restraint shown when the soldiers came to stay at his house and the shame evinced by one of the soldiers after a wordless interaction is genuinely moving.

A difficult read, but a worthwhile one.

The decider- would I buy another book by this author? Yes if there is diverse subject matter

This now becomes a bookcrossing book, if you'd like it next simply tweet me on twitter @nneerraakk first one to tweet gets the book

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