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THE BELLS By: Richard Harvell January 28, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     This is a beautiful novel, one that will thrill lovers of literary fiction. The story begins in a small village in the Swiss Alps. A deaf woman who is thought to be an idiot is the bell-ringer who rings the enormous church bells, the pride of the town. She pulls at the rope, swinging in a dance of ecstasy, as she feels the sound of the bells as it courses through her body. She is continuously molested by a cruel priest, and has a son. The son is our hero in this tale. He can hear, and his hearing is quite acute. But because he remains in the belfry while his mother rings the bells, everyone assumes he is deaf. He also does not speak, as he can’t carry on a conversation, through words, with his mother, and nobody else takes any time with them, although many often leave food on their doorstep. When the priest discovers the boy can speak, he is horrified to think of all the boy has witnessed, so tosses him from a bridge. The boy is found in the water by a pair of gay monks, and they name him Moses and take him to their monastery.

     Moses’ fabulous singing voice is discovered, but as he ages, there are those who think his voice should be preserved. And we all know how they do that. I have said far too much about this plot already, but it isn’t only the story that will keep you turning pages. The language is so beautiful that you will hesitate to put the book down, just as one is reluctant to drop the fork until every last crumb of a luscious desert has been devoured.

     If you love literary fiction, you simply can’t pass over this selection.  The Lycan Librarian predicts this is a novel that will endure and be lauded for many decades to come. It is exquisite and timeless. Treat yourself to it. You deserve it!



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