Whispers Through a Megaphone

Whispers Through a Megaphone

3.59 (391 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Sometimes the world can seem too much for just one personMiriam hasn't left her house in three years, and cannot raise her voice above a whisper. But today she has had enough, and is finally ready to rejoin the outside world.

Meanwhile, Ralph has made the mistake of opening a closet door, only to discover with a shock that his wife Sadie doesn't love him, and never has. And so he decides to run away.

Miriam and Ralph's chance meeting in a wood during stormy weather marks the beginning of an amusing, restorative friendship, while Sadie takes a break from Twitter to embark on an intriguing adventure of her own. As their collective story unfolds, each of them seeks to better understand the objects of their affection, and their own hearts, timidly refusing to stand still and accept the chaos life throws at them. Filled with wit and sparkling prose, Whispers Through a Megaphone explores our attempts to meaningfully connect with ourselves and others, in an often deafening world - when sometimes all we need is a bit of silence.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22.86mm | 272.16g
  • One
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 099291826X
  • 9780992918262
  • 520,453

Review Text

"Elliott's excellent first novel, set in England's Beckford Gardens, is a gentle yet unflinching look inside the heads of two very different characters. . . the story flows seamlessly between characters and story lines. The characters' psyches are fascinating and complex, and the plot's curveballs give enough to keep the reader engaged to the very end." - Publishers Weekly

"Debut novelist Elliott carefully, step by step, draws together the intersecting lives of these people who have let others dictate their identities and storylines. . . A charming portrait of quirky characters who transcend heartbreak." - Kirkus Reviews

"Humour always tempers Elliott's handling of emotion as she points to eccentricities manifest in us all." - Guardian

"Charming and moving, insightful and generous, and a pleasure to read." - Alison Flood, The Bookseller

"Sharp, realistic...charming." - Daily Mail

"An engaging and accomplished debut. Through the interlaced stories of a colourful cast, Elliott asks big questions, and often provides the answers, about our fleeting existence here on earth... This succinct way of summing up a life falling apart is Elliott's gift, supported by a deep understanding of what makes her characters tick... her knowledge of people shines in her fiction. For all its wit, it is the author's gimlet eye on human interaction that will engage readers." - Irish Times

"Whispers Through A Megaphone is not just a great first novel; it's wonderful... a winner." - Bookbag

"An intense psychological drama lightened with humour and tenderness." - The Lady magazine

"Filled with wit and sparkling prose, Rachel Elliott's debut follows the quirky friendship between Ralph and Mirian as they try to make sense of their lives." - HELLO!

"Wise, witty, and utterly delightful. A book with a big, beating heart." - Laurie Penny

"Elliott is an inspired observer - fresh, wry and true." - Liz Jensen, author of The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

"I began this book and couldn't put it down. The writing's exceptional. It's wonderful. Dark, so often painful - a story of such depth, beauty and rigour. And I cared for everyone. Such a testament to the fragility in us all. Oh, and funny. Great scenes of funny." - Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller When God Was a Rabbit and A Year of Marvellous Ways
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Review quote

Wise, witty, and utterly delightful. This is a book with a big, beating heart, and Rachel Elliott is a writer with a bright future Laurie Penny, Baileys Prize judge and author of 'Unspeakable Things' Humour always tempers Elliott's handling of emotion as she points to eccentricities manifest in us all Guardian Sharp, realistic...charming Daily Mail A quirky love story Grazia In an over-connected world, a crisp, beguiling voice observes chaos - and conjures miracles. Elliott is an inspired observer - fresh, wry and true -- Liz Jensen, author of The Ninth Life of Louis Drax This debut novel, longlisted for the Baileys Prize, is a charming story of growing, changing and overcoming our pasts, told with wit, insight and some colourful supporting characters Sunday Herald An engaging and accomplished debut. Through the interlaced stories of a colourful cast, Elliott asks big questions, and often provides the answers, about our fleeting existence here on earth... This succinct way of summing up a life falling apart is Elliott's gift, supported by a deep understanding of what makes her characters tick... her knowledge of people shines in her fiction. For all its wit, it is the author's gimlet eye on human interaction that will engage readers. Irish Times Whispers Through A Megaphone is not just a great first novel; it's wonderful... a winner Bookbag Filled with wit and sparkling prose, Rachel Elliott's debut follows the quirky friendship between Ralph and Mirian as they try to make sense of their lives. HELLO! Every now and then comes a literary voice that is truly original. It is a remarkable achievement - fresh, invigorating, intelligent, inspirational and perceptive... acutely observant and intensely human... Elliott's sparkling prose, warmth, wit and understanding of human frailty make this a journey of discovery full of unexpected joy, humour and hope. An extraordinary debut Lancashire Evening Post Charming and moving, insightful and generous, and a pleasure to read -- Alison Flood Bookseller (Book of the Month) A visceral psychological drama, leavened with humour and strung with the taut suspense of a thriller The Lady [An] exciting debut Big Issue in the North A beguiling debut. Perceptive, touching, and threaded through with humour. I loved it Irish Examiner A lovely uplifting read which is perfect for every season Nudge [Elliott's] insight and eye for character is profound and often surprising. This is a book to be read slowly, and to think about later: a wise, gentle book about human motivation and the hidden springs that move us through life. Book Trust Brilliantly perceptive, wry and completely original Bath Chronicle A gentle, yet astute, edgy and absolutely delightful debut novel... a quirk-filled slice of wonderful and I highly recommend it Lovereading Whispers Through a Megaphone is a debut novel with three of the most unusual and charming protagonists I've met in a long time. The wacky and wonderful antics of Miriam, Ralph and Sadie had me in stitches, and left me pondering the strength of different types of human connection Audible Books Excellent... the characters' psyches are fascinating and complex, and the plot's curveballs give enough to keep the reader engaged to the very end Publishers Weekly Unexpected connections between people, old hurts and the nature of love are explored with tenderness and humour Diva An offbeat, entertaining read The Writes of Woman (blog) A beautifully written, funny, moving, life-affirming piece of wonder. I absolutely loved it. I was in love with pretty much every finely-drawn character by the end Julie Hesmondhalgh Whispers Through a Megaphone has a superpower: that of turning melancholy into fantasy, and one's dark side into quirkiness... Following the steps of Aimee Bender and Michel Gondry, Rachel Elliott's novel is a celebration of quiet, eccentric souls and says it loud and clear: humour and reverie can change our lives and perhaps even the world Le Figaro A unique concentrate of love, funny and touching BIBA Psychological subtlety, charming style, we can't help but be reminded of Anna Gavalda, whose tender and quirky humour can also be found in Rachel Elliott's writing. The characters Rachel Elliott depicts are funny and quiet eccentric souls with their fixed beliefs, their doubts and their wanderings... Rachel Elliott is a psychotherapist and knows how to see through humans... she is deeply talented Elle France Nothing less than a study of the contemporary human condition Dundee University Review of the Arts [A] lovely book that uncovers a lot in a short period of time, wading into tough waters whilst remaining something you want to go back to The Worm Hole (blog) An uplifting book... Great characters, an interesting plot and clever writing The Bookbinder's Daughter (blog) An unusual, sweet, endearing and thought provoking read Of Beauty and Nothingness (blog) I began this book and I couldn't put it down. The writing's exceptional. It's wonderful. Dark, so often painful - a story of such depth, beauty and rigour. And I cared for everyone. Such a testament to the fragility in us all. Oh and funny. Great scenes of funny Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller 'When God Was a Rabbit' and the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller 'A Year of Marvellous Ways'
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About Rachel Elliott

Rachel Elliott is a writer and psychotherapist. She has worked in arts and technology journalism and her writing has featured in a variety of publications, from digital arts magazines to the French Literary Review. She has also been shortlisted for a number of short story and novel competitions in the UK and the US. Rachel was born in Suffolk, and now lives in Bath. Whispers Through a Megaphone is her first novel.
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Rating details

391 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 17% (67)
4 41% (161)
3 28% (111)
2 10% (40)
1 3% (12)
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