This Is the Voice

John Colapinto. Simon & Schuster, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982128-74-6
“The voice is a vital clue to character and personality—to fundamental identity,” writes journalist Colapinto (Becoming a Neurosurgeon) in this fascinating exploration of the human voice. He begins by describing how babies are born capable of learning any of the world’s 7,000 languages and argues that humans owe “our planetary dominion not to language alone, but to our special talent for turning that awesome attribute into sound.” Colapinto explains fundamental aspects of the human voice, including the physiology that makes human speech possible (e.g., neural circuitry and the organs involved); how tone, pitch, and accent can have social relevance for men and women (particularly entertaining is his take on “vocal fry,” a “croaky” way of speaking credited to Kim Kardashian); and, using Obama and Trump as examples, how the combined power of voice and rhetoric can persuade voters (he suggests that, in political speech, “voice” is the primary influence on voters’ decision). Colapinto’s narrative is chock full of information, and is something any curious-minded reader will be glad to have spent time with. Agent: Lisa Bankoff. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/03/2020
Release date: 01/26/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-9821-2875-3
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9821-2876-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-2024-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-2026-3
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