Rupert Christiansen

Listen Up

Sound: Stories of Hearing Lost and Found

By

Profile Books/Wellcome Collection 210pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

As I earn most of my living as an opera critic and find the human voice as beautiful as any work of art or nature, I suppose it isn’t surprising that I cosset my hearing neurotically. I feel I would kill myself if I developed tinnitus; emergency sirens are the bane of my life; rock concert amplification terrifies me; and, with middle age, straining to catch words at noisy parties and in restaurants has become a real headache.

For such reasons, I found Bella Bathurst’s book terrifying, absorbing and ultimately uplifting. It’s a hymn to the faculty of hearing by someone who had it, lost it and then found it again, written with passion and intelligence and full of matters auricular that I knew little about. It’s a brave and important work.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,