We have gathered all the fantastic reviews our Book Club Members have sent us this month.

Click on each name to read the review. If you would like to become part of the Viking Book Club, sign up here >>

Expand All Collapse All

Alex Willis

“Silence is about rediscovering, through pausing…” says the author Erling Cage midway through Silence in the age of noise. That caused me to pause and ask myself, ‘where do I discover my silence, those experiences and sounds that brings me joy?’

To me, total silence is anathema, life requires sound. Not to hear the gentle snores of a new born baby, the sound of Nicola Benedetti playing “The Lark Ascending”, or my wife saying, I love you. Unlike the author, I haven’t trekked across the barren wastes of the North and South poles or ascended to the dizzy heights of Mt Everest. The author talks about silence being boring, I immediately thought about the awkward silence when you meet someone for the first time and can’t quite get the conversation going, or your first date and you don’t know what to say. Of course, there are those who silence is a way of life, those born deaf.

Duncan McLaren

I well remember, back in the day, being told by a learned English teacher that narratives, to be of interest, require to have a beginning, a middle and an end. In my opinion Kagge’s musings lack all of those, and his constant use of quotations made by other ‘learned’ individuals does virtually nothing to amplify his thoughts.

The book is an easy read which I completed in two sessions and regrettably all that has registered with me is his comment on reaching the South Pole having worn the same underwear for 55 days (I do not propose to detail the somewhat coarse comment!), and a two page photo attributed to Haraldur Orn Olafsson of an individual trekking solo across an icy landscape towards the horizon, making me wonder how far he went before returning for the camera and tripod.

Did I enjoy the book? Not really as being at peace with myself and always being able to find and enjoy silence I did not find it relevant to me.

Would I recommend it? Regrettably no.

Elizabeth McCourt

I found this a thought provoking, intriguing and fascinating book. I did not know what quite to expect from it going in. It’s the type of book I enjoy reading snippets from, possibly at night time when trying to unwind from a busy day. The photography was beautiful and serene.

The author spent 50 days in Antarctica and learnt to appreciate the importance and value of silence. I agree that the world is so busy and noisy, with people turning into smart phone zombies and scared they might miss out on the latest mundane activity on social media. We rarely take a moment to appreciate the inner silence as if it’s the most uncomfortable thing to do.

I would have liked more tips on finding silence, but then again this is not a self-help book but a profound observation and benefits of silence.

Amanda Park

This is one of those occasions when the physical book really adds to the reading experience. Pocket-sized and illustrated with images of blue skies and snowy mountains; Silence can be dipped into and read over and over again. The smooth white pages echo the ice and snow of Antarctica where Erling Kagga, a Norwegian explorer, once spent fifty days walking solo. However, this book does not just describe Antarctica.

It is wide ranging in its examination of silence. Kagge explains that although Antarctica is the quietest place he has ever been, anyone can discover silence inside their mind and without the cost of a long journey. Many artists, poets and musicians have used silence as a device in their work. For example, Edvard Munch’s The Scream is cited as the most powerful scream without sound that the author has experienced. But life changing decisions can be made, as in Kagge’s own life, whilst washing dishes, undisturbed, in one’s own kitchen. In summary, the book emphasises the importance of periods of silence for everyone. An inspirational read.

Kathlyn Arthur

To begin with I thought by the title this is just what I need. As a tinnitus sufferer I would just love some silence.

To begin with I found it quite thought provoking and enjoyed it, however about a third of the way through I just lost interest in the narrative and skimmed to the end which was very easy to do.

It is not a book I would recommend anyone to read unless they are interested in the genre.