A stunning debut composed of memory, music, love and freedom, THE CHIMES pulls you into a world that will captivate, enthral and inspire.
Longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize
A Bookseller Best Debut of 2015
One to Watch 2015 Huffington Post
An Amazon Rising Star
A boy stands on the roadside on his way to London, alone in the rain.
No memories, beyond what he can hold in his hands at any given moment.
No directions, as written words have long since been forbidden.
No parents - just a melody that tugs at him, a thread to follow. A song that says if he can just get to the capital, he may find some answers about what happened to them.
The world around Simon sings, each movement a pulse of rhythm, each object weaving its own melody, music ringing in every drop of air.
Welcome to the world of The Chimes. Here, life is orchestrated by a vast musical instrument that renders people unable to form new memories. The past is a mystery, each new day feels the same as the last, and before is blasphemy.
But slowly, inexplicably, Simon is beginning to remember. He emerges from sleep each morning with a pricking feeling, and sense there is something he urgently has to do. In the city Simon meets Lucien, who has a gift for hearing, some secrets of his own, and a theory about the danger lurking in Simon's past.
A stunning debut composed of memory, music, love and freedom, The Chimes pulls you into a world that will captivate, enthrall and inspire.
The Chimes is a remarkable debut. It's inventive, beautifully written, and completely absorbing. I highly recommend it. - Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds
A genuinely original novel that has all the tension of a well-told, gripping thriller, but which is elevated well above the ordinary by its shining, lyrical language. The author has created a believable, consistent and vivid world...[a] thought-provoking exploration of memory relevant in today's world of ever-increasing Alzheimer's. - Clare Morrall
Magical, tender, thought provoking and stunningly imaginative. - Lindsay Hawdon
Smaill is a former musician with a book of poetry already to her name. The Chimes has strong echoes of both these influences as we're taken on a strange and lyrical journey through a dystopian England . . . The intrinsic links between music and memory suffuse this dreamy narrative . . . the idiosyncratic world [that] Smaill has lovingly created using melodic and musical syntax - her narrative style brimming with invention and nuance. - The Big Issue
Atmospheric, intensely-imagined strangeness - Daily Mail
Anna Smaill is a classically trained violinist and published poet. Born in Auckland in 1979, she holds an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters (Wellington), an MA in English Literature from the University of Auckland and a PhD in contemporary American poetry from University College London. She is the author of one book of poetry (The Violinist in Spring, VUP 2005) and her poems have been published and anthologised in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She has lived and worked in both Tokyo and London, and now lives in New Zealand with her husband, novelist Carl Shuker, and their daughter.