Book Review: Impossible Music by Sean Williams

Music is Simon’s life—which is why he is devastated when a stroke destroys his hearing. He resists attempts to help him adjust to his new state, refusing to be counselled, refusing to learn sign-language, refusing to have anything to do with Deaf culture. Refusing, that is, until he meets G, a tough-as-nails girl dealing with her own newly-experienced deafness.

Book Review:

“People are musical instruments, just like my guitar, but we learn from long habit to tune out our personal symphonies. We only notice it when it’s going wrong — or gone completely when the symphony is over and the orchestra has left the stage.” – Sean Williams, from Impossible Music

What would you do when one day you wake up and realized that you couldn’t hear anything? The sound of your sister yelling or the shouts of your mom calling you on breakfast are gone, or the breeze of the wind on your window only felt chill but you couldn’t hear anything? And what if…just what if, all your whole life, the only thing that you are passionate about is music and then your hearing is gone? What would you feel?

That’s what Simon has to conquer in this devastating and yet beautiful novel about passion, relationships, moving on, acceptance, and finding yourself in the midst of an unexpected turn of events in life.

It is undeniable that Simon had a hard time accepting his situation but it also opens opportunities, connections, and realizations that lead to another path for him. It is heart-breaking knowing a person has so much compassion about something but couldn’t pursue this passion. And reading into his perspective felt like I could understand Simon deeply towards his resentfulness regarding being deaf. Don’t misunderstand the book. He doesn’t have hate towards the deaf community, instead, this book shows how relevant a book with a deaf protagonist. I believe, most of his actions, are based on his constant denials about his circumstances.

Regardless, this book displays two kinds of stories that will intertwine and change Simon’s outlook in life. Impossible Music by Sean Williams is about looking for your purpose when the only thing you love the most is gone in a snap of a finger. It talks about the reality and the difficulty of accepting something you are experiencing for the first time and in return, this book teaches that the deaf community needs to be heard. At least that’s what I think of.

[See Books About Music: The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom and Echo by Pam Ryan Munoz]


Amazon | Book Depository


#1 New York Times bestselling Sean Williams lives with his family in Adelaide, South Australia. He’s written some books–forty-two at last count–including the Philip K. Dick-nominated Saturn Returns, several Star Wars novels and the Troubletwister series with Garth Nix. Twinmaker is a YA SF series that takes his love affair with the matter transmitter to a whole new level. You can find some related short stories over at Lightspeed Magazine and elsewhere. Thanks for reading.


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