The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise

Garret Keizer, PublicAffairs, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 9781586485528
Examining noise as a social barometer of sorts, this book covers a wide spectrum, from revolution to religion. The author neatly handles a symphony of facts and ideas, offering frequent summations like "The history of noise abatement is to a large degree about dividing space into noisy and quiet areas" and "The combination of flatness and proximity to water complicates as well as exacerbates certain problems of noise" that demonstrate his passion for the subject. A sophisticated thread woven through the many genres and locales reveals not only subtle sonic connections but also the author's Achilles' heel. Addressing the importance of human cooperation over selfishness and isolation, Keizer offers that people "need to love... their backyards with the same particularity as they love their own children – not to the total exclusion of other children, which would ultimately hurt their own children, but with the passion and partiality that are of the nature of love." This is but one of a cacophony of platitudes that the book falls victim to so that by the end, an unquestionably important perspective is smothered under a lot of preaching. (May)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-61039-110-8
Paperback - 692 pages - 978-1-4587-6016-6
Open Ebook - 395 pages - 978-1-58648-862-8
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