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September 25, 2015

Book Notes - Samuel Sattin "The Silent End"

The Silent End

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Samuel Sattin's The Silent End is smart yet accessible, creepy and hilarious, a vividly told novel both teens and adults will enjoy.

Victor LaValle wrote of the book:

"Imagine if Halloween had been written by The Kids in The Hall instead of John Carpenter and you start to understand the wild, mesmerizing mash up that is The Silent End. Monsters and monstrous fathers, missing mothers and young love—somehow all of this and much more fits wonderfully into this book. It manages to be scary and sweet and very, very fine. Sam Sattin is a talent and this novel is a joy."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Samuel Sattin's Book Notes music playlist for his novel The Silent End:


The Silent End is my first conscious foray into horror. But more than that, it is just deeply weird, and even more deeply personal. As much as it is a story of teenagers facing down incalculable evil beneath their high school, echoes of real-life tragedy run throughout, notably that of my mother's death.

I didn't know how much that was the case when I started (and finished) writing. Only in retrospect did I understand that I'd retold a very difficult story with tools that repurposed it for another, more immediate and carefully disguised one. The Silent End explores the ways in which we try to translate our imaginations into reality. It examines what would really happen if your dreams (and nightmares) began to manifest in daily life. In my view, human creativity is miraculous, but it's also grotesque in its inadequacy. All ideas begin as raw things, and take time to refine. But even when refined, they never quite get close enough to emulating the generative beauty of the initial concept.

The characters of The Silent End are lost in a town that comes close to forgetting itself every day, and lurk in fear of creatures that crawl from the dark. Though the book's name would suggest otherwise, I found that a soundtrack naturally accompanied their disorientation. This playlist is made up partially of songs I listened to during the book's creation, and partially of songs that I likely should have. Music helped shape the town of Mossglow and its confused inhabitants, all of which are just trying to understand how and when they lost their way, and how to attain normalcy again, if such a thing is even possible.

Cornelius: "The Micro Disneycal World Tour"
Tom Waits: "Little Drop of Poison"
St. Vincent: "Severed Crossed Fingers"
Carla Morrison: "Apague Mi Mente"
Jim Guthrie: "Lone Star"
Peer Raben: "Verlorene Traume (Lost Dreams)," "Gefahr (Danger)"
Shigeru Umebayashi: "Efude," "On the Lake"
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: "Stagger Lee"
Lifeformed: "Cider Time"
Girls: "Oh So Protective One"
Yael Deckelbaum: "100% Light"
The Aprons: "Sound Time"
Momus: "Ping Pong With Hong Kong King Kong"
The Go! Team: "T.O.R.N.A.D.O."
The Devil Makes Three: "Ten Feet Tall"
Mirah: "The Garden"
Takako Minekawa: "Sleep Song"
April March: "Last Train to Christmas"
Django Reinhardt: "Nature Boy"
Ryuichi Sakamoto: "Ghost Road"
Tomoyasu Hotei: "Kill the Target"
Orbital: "Way Out"
Portishead: "All Mine"
The Fiery Furnaces: "I'm Waiting to Know You," "Nevers"
OOIOO: "UMA"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Let Me Know"
Judas Priest: "Electric Eye"
Morusque: "Botines"

Melt-Banana: "The Hive"


Samuel Sattin and The Silent End links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book

Galleywampus review
Timothy C. Ward review
United Federation of Charles review

13th Dimension piece by the author
Dwarf + Giant interview with the author
Geek Mom essay by the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for League of Somebodies


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists
Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


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