The Sound of the World by Heart – Giacomo Bevilacqua

The Sound of the World

This is a beautiful graphic novel that I was able to read thanks to NetGalley. This follows Sam who is taking part in an experiment in New York City where he can’t communicate with anyone. This is something he would do when life got too tough and he needed time to escape but given the chance to turn his coping mechanism into an experiment and consequently an article for his online magazine he travels to New York City under strict instructions that he can’t talk to anyone not even to order a meal. Armed with pen and paper he sets off to begin his journey.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel as it was a journey of self-discovery for Sam and a chance to observe the world around him. As a photographer he has that extra ability to see the beauty in the world but I felt that this book highlighted the importance of communication in a buzzing city where manners, communication and acknowledgement is limited from one person to the next. However the simplest modes of communication used on a daily basis such as ordering food or talking to someone is important and this graphic novel showed that.


The illustrations in this novel were beautiful, vibrant colours and page-sized views of central park, the New York City skyline and more. It just made me want to high-tail it to the airport and get on the next New York bound flight. I was in the city before Christmas but ever since I have wanted nothing more than to go back and this book just gathered all of my emotions within its drawings. I did however see a new perspective of New York through the eyes of someone who had lived there, grew up there and knew the city well whereas of course when I went it was a tourist excursion.

There was a point in the book that I felt the plot changed completely and it was when Sam started to spot someone in his photographs, someone he wanted to talk to, to find and get to know. Not only did this add a new purpose to his work but also a complication to his experiment. I understand where the plot was going with this but I felt it changed the feel of the book and direction of the plot.

SOTWBH Central Park

I have to say though that this book is beautiful and gives the reader a different look at the city that never sleeps. The writer speaks beautifully of the city and seems to see in it something different to others, I loved the description of Central Park; how there isn’t just one but one for every season, how the park changes with the weather and how one can see something different in each tree, each branch.

Overall it is a beautifully constructed and illustrated self-exploration novel set in New York City. It is easy to read and can easily be done in one sitting, I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars and would definitely recommend it to any fan of the city, graphic novels and for anyone looking for something a little deeper to read.


3 thoughts on “The Sound of the World by Heart – Giacomo Bevilacqua

  1. mia says:

    omigosh this sounds like an amazing book! i’ve actually always wanted to do a social experiment like that but never had the guts ;D

    • mrsmamfa says:

      Definitely check it out, I think it would be amazing to do in New York City! So many people you can’t communicate with!!!

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