A Bright Soothing Noise

Review From User :

The short stories of A Bright Soothing Noise will haunt you long after you have finished reading. They are tales of the hopeless making a last grasp at hope and leaping blindly into a new life. But this new and unknown life is often more terrifying than anything they tried to leave behind. Compelling, beautifully written, and full of tension, each story packs a startling and memorable punch.


The title, A Bright Soothing Noise, refers to the sound that fire makes, promising not only warmth and light but also violence and destruction. Brown’s greatest hero is Frank O’Connor, and like O’Connor’s his stories uncover the final bleakness of a national life but in the same moment glow with its promise of love and life and belonging. Brown’s Americans will try almost anything to connect. They tend to drink too much, to drive too fast, are a little too violent in their passions and even a little too religious. Too often they believe, they trust – and then again they don’t, depending not so much on what’s getting proffered as who’s proffering. They are always on the verge of something better. They only want a little more, only a little too much, and while we as readers want with all our hearts for them to get it, we also fear they might.

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