Sound - By Bella Bathurst

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Extraordinary journey about losing your hearing and getting it back again.
Stories of Hearing Lost and Found
Copyright 2017

'Imagine London turned down. Cut out the traffic. Cut the trees and the pigeons. Cut the leaf-blower, the trains, the smoothing rain. Cut the air brakes, the scaffolders, the click of heels. Cut the beep of a reversing truck or the bang of its shattered back. Cut music. Cut conversation. Cut the whole lot. Or rather, take it all down by about 80 per cent. Remove half the sense and flatten the rest. Leave what remains as a disconnected sequence of hisses and sibilants. The edges of sound are still there but the sense in its centre has gone. I can still feel the vibration of the bus and the windows shaking slightly as it stands. I can't hear London breathing anymore. Perhaps it's dead.'

Author: Bella Bathurst

In 1997, Bella Bathurst began to go deaf. Within a few months, she had lost half her hearing, and the rest was slipping away. She wasn't just missing punchlines, she was missing most of the conversation - and all of the jokes. For the next twelve years, deafness shaped her life, until, in 2009, everything changed again.

Sound draws on this extraordinary experience, exploring what it is like to lose your hearing and - as Bella eventually did - to get it back, and what that teaches you about listening and silence, music and noise. She investigates the science behind deafness, hearing loss among musicians, soldiers and factory workers, sign language, and what the Deaf know about these subjects that the hearing don't.

If sight gives us the world, then hearing - or our ability to listen- gives us each other. But, as this smart, funny and profoundly honest examination reveals, our relationship with sound is both personal and far, far more complex than we might expect.

About the Author
Bella Bathurst is a writer and photojournalist. Her books include The Lighthouse Stevensons, which won the Somerset Maugham Award; The Wreckers, which became a BBC Timewatch documentary; and The Bicycle Book, which was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

Publisher: Welcome Collection
210 pages

Code G02

Customer Reviews

4 stars based on 1 review
Ann Thallon
from Scotland

Fascinating book of Bella Bathgate's unique experience, which nevertheless will strike many chords with anyone living with hearing loss. A personal story interspersed with lots of well researched, highly accessible facts on hearing related topics. I particularly enjoyed the parts about acoustics. A book to read, enjoy, learn from, then dip in to again and again.