Latest Reads: The Listeners Jordan Tannahill.

One night, while lying in bed next to her husband, Claire Devon suddenly hears a low hum. This innocuous sound, which no one else in the house can hear, has no obvious source or medical cause, but it begins to upset the balance of Claire’s life. When she discovers that one of her students can also hear the hum, the two strike up an unlikely and intimate friendship. Finding themselves increasingly isolated from their families and colleagues, they fall in with a disparate group of people who also perceive the sound. What starts out as a kind of neighbourhood self-help group gradually transforms into something much more extreme, with far-reaching, devastating consequences. 

The Listeners was terrific and not at all what I was expecting from the blurb (in a good way) – I immediately engaged with Claire, who we will follow along with in this novel as she goes through a life changing experience.

I’m going to tag this as “Literary weird” which is a compliment- the writing is beautifully immersive and the story being told is unique in perspective. It is a family drama with added strange, as various people in a community start to hear a constant, persistent and oft debilitating hum-derided by friends and family alike, Claire ultimately finds herself involved with a group of people trying desperately to work out what’s going on.

From there on in The Listeners becomes a character study wrapped up in a mystery. Jordan Tannahill draws the intricate relationships cleverly, offering up seemingly inappropriate actions that in the moment feel exactly right. As Claire descends further down the rabbit hole things get intensely disturbing yet also strangely uplifting, the finale is pitched perfectly leaving you with mixed feelings and a sense of melancholy.

I won’t give away intimate plot details but suffice to say it is extraordinarily engaging, a gorgeous and sometimes sad story that will stick with me for a good while to come.


You can purchase The Listeners (4th Estate) Here.

Happy Reading!

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