Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
Today I had a few hours to kill in a city not my own so I went to a Chapters Indigo outlet and started Jesse Ball’s new novel Silence Once Begun. After ~sixty pages the torturous music at Chapters became unbearable and I had to leave. I went to a nearby Burger King and got a coffee and read the Toronto Sun.
I didn’t have any money to buy Silence so I quit just before starting a new section, the first dialogue with Oda’s father. The pages leading up to this point were fresh, exactly the style I’ve craved for a long time. It’s sparse and almost journalistic in its presentation of fragmented conversation, transcribed glimpses of legal mechanisms and their languages. The Interviewer’s work, his words, his interviews, look best laid out as a table of contents. That’s what excited me most, the table that looked like a court document, an affidavit reading dry but glowing with what’s behind it. This novel moves toward a new kind of detective fiction, a fiction that goes beyond hyper-realism to something found in legalese and piles of paperwork, evidence that reads how evidence really reads. I can’t wait to continue.