If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

by Jon McGregor | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0747561575 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Caro1 of Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on 3/8/2005
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This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 8, 2005
On a street in a town in the North of England, ordinary people are going through the motions of their everyday existence - street cricket, barbecues, painting windows...A young man is in love with a neighbour who does not even know his name. An old couple make their way up to the nearby bus stop. But then a terrible event shatters the quiet of the early summer evening. That this remarkable and horrific event is only poignant to those who saw it, not even meriting a mention on the local news, means that those who witness it will be altered for ever.

An outstanding and haunting novel. Full of minute detail, ignored or not spoken about by all the nameless characters in the book, but of remarkable interest for the reader. Invest in a box of tissues!

Journal Entry 2 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 9, 2005
Welcome to the If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things bookring!

We now have 8 members. I sent the bookring to Kleptokitty on Wed 9th March and hope it reaches you all safely :-) Happy Bookring Reading!

Any problems, please PM me.

The list is as follows:

Kleptokitty, Farnborough
bookmaniac70, Sofia, Bulgaria
jaynereader, Monterenzio, Emilia Romagna, Italy
tutleymutley, Newton Abbot
wilksie, Sheffield
Beebarf, Sheffield
JudeM, Nottingham
....then back to me.

Please remember to journal the book BOTH when you have received it (so we all know where it is) and once you have read it (so we all know what you thought of it).

I am really looking forward to hearing your feedback, thanks for participating.


Journal Entry 3 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 9, 2005
On its way to Kleptokitty. Hope you love it as much as I do!

Journal Entry 4 by Kleptokitty on Friday, March 11, 2005
Arrived safe & sound this morning along with a fabulous bookmark & some interesting ideas for discussion.

I'm about half way through my current read, and this shall be next on the list.

Thankyou for sharing.

Journal Entry 5 by Kleptokitty on Friday, March 18, 2005
This book is is filled with a huge amount of small detail about the environment, the actions, the feelings of the nameless people who live in a typical street. The layers upon layers of detail, going backwards and forwards over time, build up an amazingly realistic picture of everyday life going on. Within every mundane day, there are a million different little stories going on. Each is linked to the others, though they don't seem to have much in common.

The event that the whole book leads towards came as a shock, even though it was expected. All the strands of time, all the individual stories came together for a moment as time stood still.

It wasn't until the end that I appreciated it fully. Once I closed it, it took a few moments for me to collect my thoughts.

I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to have read this book. Thankyou for sharing it Caro1 as it not the sort of thing I would have picked up on my own.

Journal Entry 6 by Kleptokitty at on Friday, March 18, 2005

Released 16 yrs ago (3/18/2005 UTC) at



On it's way to Bookmaniac70 in this morning's post.

Journal Entry 7 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Book arrived today.I`m looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 8 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Friday, March 25, 2005
Just a quick update to tell you I`m through one third of the book and I absolutely love it so far!I feel entranced by the observations,the intensity of comprehending and beholding the reality around us,the living pulse through the narrative.

Journal Entry 9 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Another quick note to tell you that I finished it today and loved till the end! I`m PMing now the next participant. I shall share my thoughts in another entry pretty soon.
Thanks for bringing this wonderful book to me! I enjoyed it!

Journal Entry 10 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Monday, April 4, 2005
I got the address of jaynereader and am going to mail the book tomorrow but first, my comments.

"If you listen,you can hear it.
The city,it sings."

I liked that phrase.It opens beautifully the novel and tells you beforehand that you will be open to a world of pictures,lives,smells,sounds which you may not have noticed before.I saw in my mind every place,every move,pictured the streets,the people,the movements,heard the sounds,the words.It was like a film,like many many photograph pictures changing all the time.The observation was an essential part of the novel but at the same time,the observer was in the heart of things,too.

The language and the writing were very good.I think that as a prose and style,it meets very high standarts.I enjoyed almost every word and there were many passages I wished to underline or remember,like that about the rain.I liked the anonimity of people,they being addressed only as "the boy from number...","the couple from number...","the man with the scarred hands...".It felt like in everyday life,where you see many times well-known faces,you observe them,you know something about them but don`t know their names.
I think "the remarkable things" are what is going on in our lives and in the lives of others,every minute,every single moment:the present,day or night,silence or noice.

A wonderful first novel.The type of a book I would return to re-read some day.

Released 16 yrs ago (4/5/2005 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Sending to jaynereader.

Journal Entry 12 by rem_IUM-600892 on Tuesday, April 19, 2005
I'd forgotten to note this bookring down so it was a lovely surprise when it came this morning. It's next on my list after my current read, thanks Caro1 and bookmaniac70!

Journal Entry 13 by rem_IUM-600892 on Saturday, April 23, 2005
Thanks Caro1 for the chance to read this wonderful book about solitude. All the characters are described beautifully and you become attached to all of them. But even everyday objects are given plenty of description in this book; a jar full of petals, a tobyjug, a statue; all the little things we surround ourselves with. Should we collect everything like the boy at no.18 or just take a binbag with us when we move, like the girl with glasses?
It's difficult to move straight on to another book after reading this, you need a couple of days to get your thoughts together. Thanks again!
PMing tutleymutley now

Sent off to tutleymutley today 26.4

Journal Entry 14 by tutleymutley from Newton Abbot, Devon United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 3, 2005
Arrived today, from Italy (thanks Jayne reader!). What gets me is that is looks immaculate, unread, spine uncreased complete with bookmark and ideas for discussion - how do you guys do it? Do you wear gloves and have a bookstand or summat? How can this be so, when it's already whizzed around Europe? It won't fare so well once it's encountered the bottom of my rucksack - books seem to touch me and look 'used' as soon as, (and no, I don't turn down the corners of pages)?!
I'm already reading a ringed book - so apologies for any delay - i'll get to this next. Look forward to it.

June 5th I know, I know - I'm holding this book up. apologies. I've got about 4 ring books with me at present and am working my way through. I'm on holiday end of the month and I'll be able to clear em all up then. Have started this book, but need an uninterrupted stretch of time to really appreciate it.

Journal Entry 15 by tutleymutley from Newton Abbot, Devon United Kingdom on Sunday, July 24, 2005
What a wonderful book - each little moment described beautifully, like a pearl - and the rope that hangs the necklace together is the mysterious cliffhanger 'event' - and, even then, there is a surprise. I loved it, loved drifting in and out of each house on the street and meeting all the memorable characters, even when you never know their names. Thank you so much, Caro1, for starting this bookring.
Sorry for keeping it so long, but will pass it on to Hellie as soon as.

Journal Entry 16 by wilksie from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, November 5, 2005
This arrived this morning, thank you Tutley Mutley :-) I have a couple more rings to read but will get around to this as soon as possible. I'm looking forward to it.

Journal Entry 17 by wilksie from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, December 5, 2005
I'm think I'm going to be the first dissenting voice on this one. I couldn't get on with the writing style, didn't like the anonymous characters. I know it was sad but I couldn't get involved enough to mind. Possibly it was my fault and I wasn't in the mood for a book which required commitment from the reader - never mind, I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it :-)
On to Beebarf as soon as I get an address.

Journal Entry 18 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Saturday, December 10, 2005
Arrived safely. Thank you!

Journal Entry 19 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Sunday, January 8, 2006
This book is poetry as prose. The way that the author moves from scene to scene, picking out the everyday and making it shine is done with a delicate touch, but surefootedly, with plenty of moments that the reader - this reader at least - recognised. The whole set up was very much like Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood" although perhaps with less humour, but no less affection for the characters. That McGregor manages to do this yet retain the integrity of his own creation says a lot about how well realised and well written his unnamed suburb of an unnamed city is.

Throughout, names are rarely used - when they occur, it is almost as an incantation. Characters are described by a physical characteristic - the old man, the boy with the pierced eyebrow, the girl with the square glasses. Much as we may dislike this, this is the reality of suburban life - we don't necessarily know the names of those around us, even though we see them every day.

This device also gives a distance and universality to the event described - we are a step removed from the action helpless to change events as they unfold - in either of the narrative strands - and powerless to prevent the unknown tragedy to come. (again, in either strand, although I may be alone in thinking that the events of the later strand could be a tragedy)

It's really difficult to describe this book, as the normal parameters of plot development just don't apply. It's beauty is in the detail, the language, the languid heat of a summer's day and the wonder of a child at play.

If you are the type to people watch whilst sitting doing almost anything - on top of a bus, in a cafe, from your office window - then you'll probably appreciate this book the most. If you are the type to appreciate beautiful spare prose, then you too will love this book. If you require a strong driving plot, masses of dialogue and an exotic location from yur reading material - this will broaden your horizons and introduce you to the finer things in life, but don't blame me if you don't get into this book!

Ten out of ten!

Thank you Caroline for another super choice for a bookring!

Journal Entry 20 by beeofgoodcheer from Stowmarket, Suffolk United Kingdom on Saturday, February 11, 2006
No reply from JudeM to my PMs, so will take it to the Sheffield meet, as I think Caro1 will be there.

Released 15 yrs ago (2/11/2006 UTC) at Sheffield Meet @ The Showroom in Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom



Journal Entry 22 by Caro1 from Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Saturday, February 11, 2006
Passed to me by Beebarf at the Sheffield meet. Hopefull I'll see JudeM at a reading group and can pass this on to her then.

Journal Entry 23 by Caro1 at Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Thursday, March 3, 2011

Released 10 yrs ago (3/3/2011 UTC) at Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom


Released at John Hunt Primary School to celebrate World Book Day.

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