At First, You Hear The Silence by Mark Fuller Dillon
At First You Hear The Silence by Mark Fuller Dillon is a quick read that packs a big punch. This novella, set in rural Canada during the 1960s follows Phillipe, a thriteen year old boy that’s been left in charge of the family farm for a night and a day while his family goes and visits his mentally ill aunt. His father puts a lot of pressure on him to suceed, and as Philippe wants to prove himself a man, he takes the job seriously. At the same time, him and his father are beginning to butt heads; his father doesn’t understand the extra care Philippe gives the animals, and Philippe resents the way his father refuses to talk of his aunt and the family secrets. The author does a fantastic job creating subtle tensions, little things you don’t notice until it’s too late. He does give us a lot of subtle hints which I really enjoyed. I read this book in less than an hour. The climax of the novel is a bit… weird, which is where I guess the sci-fi label comes into play, but I still enjoyed this novel. I do wish I’d learned a little more about his aunt, though the author hints at an answer I’m not sure my guess is correct.
I thought the writing fantastic. It’s a great mix of horror, humor, fast pacing and beautiful details. Short stories are hard to write, and this is one of the best I’ve ever read.
My Rating: 4.9/5
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