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The History of Sound by Ben Shattuck
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The History of Sound

Best Seller
The History of Sound by Ben Shattuck
Hardcover $30.00
Jul 09, 2024 | ISBN 9780593490389

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    Jul 09, 2024 | ISBN 9780593490389

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  • Jul 09, 2024 | ISBN 9780593908587

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Praise for The History of Sound

The History of Sound is polyphonic fiction. . . . It’s also a reminder of the short story’s power. . . . The History of Sound marks Shattuck as one of the form’s brightest lights. . . . A terrific writer. . . . Deeply resonant.”
Chris Vognar, The Boston Globe

“Reminds me of Andrea Barrett. . . . The unity of this collection is most pleasing of all, as each small, muted drama grows in pathos by being remembered or replicated later in time. Even the loneliest confessions find sympathetic listeners, though they may take centuries to do so.”
Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

“Masterful. . . . Shattuck’s connection to the region he writes about is palpable on the page. The emotions evoked, primarily around the difficulty of finding meaningful connections to others, land with a combination of great force and quiet tenderness. . . . The History of Sound is worth your time.”
John Warner, The Chicago Tribune

“Intricately structured, powerfully emotional, beautifully written: This is as good as short fiction gets.”
—Kirkus Reviews (STARRED review)

“In each arresting, surprising, gorgeously realized tale, Shattuck considers how art and stories are passed down, misconstrued, and lost; how love can be tragic and insufficient; how chance meetings and buried secrets resonate. Shattuck’s numinous stories shimmer with longing and loss, fate and beauty.”
—Booklist (STARRED review)

“A magnificent collection about love, longing, and New England history. . . . Shattuck shines especially in his depiction of nature. . . . Deeply felt and impeccably researched, these exquisite stories capture the spirit of the Northeast.” 
Publishers Weekly

“Exquisitely crafted, deeply imagined, exhilaratingly diverse, The History of Sound places Ben Shattuck firmly among the very finest of our storytellers.”
—Geraldine Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of Horse

“Shattuck has recovered what was thought lost—in American history, natural history, and unspoken human longing—and returned it to us on the page. This is what great art does. Lovingly detailed, beautifully told, with interconnections that make the reader gasp aloud, these stories are unlike anything on your bookshelf. I love The History of Sound and you will too. Get it now.”
—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less and Less Is Lost

The History of Sound is much more than a stunning short story collection—the best I’ve read in more than a decade—it’s a seductive cluster of interweaving narratives that will keep you turning the pages even as you savor each story’s specificity, heart, and wit. Ben Shattuck writes about music, painting, history, and the natural world with such authority and grace, but it’s his characters that stay with you in their desperate attempts to make sense of this inexplicable world. I can’t wait to read whatever Ben Shattuck has coming next.”
—Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, and Travels with George

“Ben Shattuck’s stories are stunning: enthralling, suspenseful, and haunting; often witty and always deeply moving. Like Alice Munro and Andrea Barrett, he has a keen eye for the mysterious intersections of human nature with nature itself—and a knack for capturing the span of an entire life in a single tale, each resonating with others to create a book about history, destiny, and the way we live now. At the end, I longed for more.” 
—Julia Glass, author of Vigil Harbor and Three Junes

“In braiding themselves together, The History of Sound’s stories generate the most ingenious and pleasing and moving evocation of New England, in all its seasonal and geographic variety. Over time—from 1696 to Radiolab—mysteries posed in one story are off-handedly addressed years later in another, protagonists become someone else’s minor character, and fates are meted out as each new narrative throws a crucial contextualizing light upon the other. Ben Shattuck is a devoted magpie: these stories celebrate the earth’s music and bounty, and remind us how diminished we are when severed from who and what we loved.” 
—Jim Shepard, author of The Book of Aron and Like You’d Understand, Anyway

“Beautifully constructed, emotionally resonant, and richly rooted in the natural world, these stories chime memorably through time and space.”
—Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever and Natural History

“The stories in this beautifully written book toggle between the past and the present, and their subjects include the natural world in and around New England, and, within that natural world, a cultural landscape that includes music, faith, love, and murder. Ben Shattuck is a gifted writer who is wonderfully generous and wide-ranging in his concerns. He cares deeply about those in peril, those in need of help and aid, and his imagination goes out to them. Like the novelists of the 19th century, he looks upon the world with wonder, as if no one had ever really seen it or its secrets or made an account of it before. In every sense, this is a wonderful book.”
—Charles Baxter, author of Feast of Love and There’s Something I Want You to Do

“A magical collection of interlinked stories. Shattuck writes with the artful skill and intellectual edge of a novelist and, as essentially, with the grace and transcendent depth of a poet. The History of Sound is an exhilarating work of fiction. I loved it.”
—Dawn Tripp, author of Georgia and Jackie

“The author of Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau delivers a collection of interconnected New England stories, spanning multiple centuries and matters of love, death, and history, both personal and national. It’s a sweeping but intimate feat of scope and imagination.”
—The Boston Globe

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