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A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound

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Title: A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: The World According to Garp (film)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound

A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound
First edition cover
Author John Irving
Illustrator Tatjana Hauptmann
Language English
Publisher Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 28, 2004

A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound (Doubleday Books for Young Readers, September 28, 2004, ISBN 0-385-74680-6) is a children's picture book written by John Irving and illustrated by Tatjana Hauptmann. The story was originally a children's book written by a character in Irving's 1998 novel A Widow for One Year.

Plot summary

The story takes place in a house, late at night. A young child, asleep in his bed, awakes to hear a sound he describes as "a sound like someone trying not to make a sound". The child wakes his father and describes the sound to him. The child believes that the sound comes from a "monster with no arms and legs", which "slides on its fur" and "pulls itself along on its teeth".[1] The father and child discover that the sound is coming from the mice in the walls, and the child is comforted by his parent. The two return to sleep.


A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that "In showing young readers that the things that go bump in the night are, in reality, not so scary, Irving succeeds in helping them confront their fears."[2] Liz Rosenburg, reviewing for the Boston Globe concluded, "It may not be for everyone, certainly not for the most timid, but it has a satisfying and haunted originality that will win its own fans."[3]


  1. ^ "A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound".  
  2. ^ "A Sound Like Someone Trying Not to Make a Sound".  
  3. ^ Rosenburg, Liz (14 November 2004). "Up to the high standards of the small reader".  
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