Six Degrees of Separation: Murmur

Hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  Six Degrees of Separation picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links in titles will take you to my reviews. So without further ado, our starting book this month is …

Murmur by Will Eaves

I loved Murmur, and was so happy that it recently won the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize. Loosely based on the life of Alan Turing after he was forced to undergo chemical castration for an indecency conviction. This novel is very experimental in style and won’t be for everyone, but I found it really rewarding, timely too.

And the link is all about communicating…

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

I love listening to David Sedaris on his annual set of programmes for Radio 4, (see here for the latest series). His is a unique voice. This was his breakthrough volume of witty recollections from his growing up in North Carolina, and in part two when he spent time living in France. Great fun whether you read or listen to him.

And the link is all about communicating – getting more animated…

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Young Irish writer Rooney is probably the foremost young author of the day with her two prizewinning novels. I enjoyed her first novel, although I had slight reservations about the motives of the older woman. The dialogue was excellent though which fits into my theme perfectly.

And the link is all about communicating – getting louder…

The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World by Harlan Ellison

Published in 1969, this short story collection contains two Hugo winners – The title story won for best novella in 1970, and The Boy and His Dog won for best short story in 1969. I discovered Harlan Ellison during my science fiction reading heyday back in the 1980s – sadly I can’t remember a single detail about this book’s contents.

And the link is all about communicating – calming down…

Harriet Said by Beryl Bainbridge

Bainbridge’s first novel was written in the late 1950s, but didn’t find a publisher initially, ending up as her third to be published in 1972. Two schoolgirls are on holiday in a Northern resort. One becomes interested in an unhappily married, middle-aged man. She and her friend Harriet begin a plot to humiliate him. But their fantasy merges into reality, with shocking and unexpected results.

And the link is all about communicating – and quieter…

Gossip by Beth Gutcheon

This novel is all about female friendship. Three girls meet at an American boarding school in 1960, and the story follows them through the decades up to a shocking climax at 9/11. Although this novel is slow-burning, it is peppered throughout with wit and drama, making for a beguiling and satisfying read.

And the link is all about communicating – and quieter, sshh…

Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch

This is the third volume in Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series of enjoyable supernatural crime novels – and the next one I shall be reading…


So through the medium of how we communicate with each other, I’ve gone back and forth between the UK and the US via Ireland – where we all communicate in English – one way or another. Where will your six degrees take you?

18 thoughts on “Six Degrees of Separation: Murmur

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I was going to link Gossip to Murmur at first – but then loads of other conversation books came into my mind!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks, Lisa. Only Eaves and Rooney are new(ish) but definitely zeitgeisty books. Would really recommend the Eaves, but it is difficult and experimental.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks Susan. Gossip was a super book. I must check out what else she’s written – one day!.

  1. Yay! Someone has read Murmur 🙂

    I’ve read the Sedaris and the Roone from your chain but will check out Gossip – I do love a boarding school story (left over from my Enid Blyton/ Naughtiest Girl reading in childhood).

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Loved Murmur – although it is experimental in style. Only the beginning of Gossip is at boarding school, it was a really good read though.

  2. I love how you approached this one! And, I adore David Sedaris. I heard his debut in the early 90s on NPR the original Santaland Diaries which I KNEW was an I Stanton classic! The cover of Gossip is perfect! I need to find the book
    Great job!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks so much. I love finding a good linking strategy – this one really worked. (Gossip was brilliant and Sedaris rocks!)

  3. Nice one Annabel! Beginning quietly, rising in sound and then diminishing – clever. I loved it. The only one I’ve read is Harriet Said – and you can’t believe what she says, truly shocking!

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