Sound by Gil Liane

book cover of Sound

This is one trip of a novel. There are a lot of interesting ideas and it was enjoyable to read, but at the end I feel vaguely confused, like when you wake up from a satisfying rollercoaster of a dream and then realise that actually none of it made any sense.

I guess it’d be too harsh to say that none of this book makes any sense. It’s told in the first-person, present tense by Ces, a new arrival to a closed environment of a science experiment called Sound. In this place, food starts to lose all flavour and people lose their desire to eat, because the only thing that truly satisfies is loud, live music.

The world outside Sound seems to have gone to hell in a handbasket, with references to massacres, food shortages and other great disasters. The world inside Sound isn’t very nice either, but you get the impression that people volunteer to be here because it’s the greatest chance at security they have.

The story follows Ces as things in Sound go from bad to worse. I think I made a mistake trying to read this book on public transport – distracted is not what you want to be when you try to read this. There are too many characters to keep track of and, as mentioned, the plot is rather dreamily confusing. It’s definitely interesting, though, and there is a satisfying conclusion.


a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.