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Dan escaped captivity from the mountain long ago, but believes his brother is still there and waits each day in a nearby town for his escape. What Dan doesn't realize is that the rest of the townspeople are also waiting--but for reasons he never imagined.


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Dan escaped captivity from the mountain long ago, but believes his brother is still there and waits each day in a nearby town for his escape. What Dan doesn't realize is that the rest of the townspeople are also waiting--but for reasons he never imagined.

30 review for These Nameless Things

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Latest Booktube Video ranks all the books I read in February. While you probably know where this one stands based on my review...check out the video to see the rest! The Written Review: It's a book you've read before, long ago, and you can't remember all the details or exactly when all the frightening thing happen, but you have a distinct premonition. And you don't like it. Dan and his friends have made a darling little community for themselves - everyone pitches in to grow crops, th Latest Booktube Video ranks all the books I read in February. While you probably know where this one stands based on my review...check out the video to see the rest! The Written Review: It's a book you've read before, long ago, and you can't remember all the details or exactly when all the frightening thing happen, but you have a distinct premonition. And you don't like it. Dan and his friends have made a darling little community for themselves - everyone pitches in to grow crops, they take care of each other...and they don't talk about the mountain. The mountain. It looms behind their little community and despite being hardly talked about, it is constantly on the forefront of everyone's mind. None of us in the town remembered anything of consequence about our lives before the horror of the mountain. All Dan can really remember is that he had (has?) a brother who he last saw under the mountain. He wants to go back but at the same time is horrified by what lurks beneath. "Can't you feel this place? It's coming for us. Something here is coming for us." But now, more than ever, Dan is feeling a pull towards his brother...and to the mountain itself. ...I had no one. But the voices never left Overall, the concept of this one blew me away - I was hooked from the start and I could NOT put it down. I loved teasing out what the mountain could be and the general air of mystery behind it. When the girl came out of the mountain, and then the other girl came back from beyond - whew! I was feeling chills. The characters for the most part felt real - though the dialogue did feel stilted at times, which caused Dan to seem far younger than his age suggested, causing a slight disconnect for me. Towards the end I pieced together enough to figure out that the author drew inspiration from a few things and I think that's what kept it from being a five-star book for me. If the story stood a bit more on its own and a bit less on other things, I would have absolutely fallen in love. But all in all, this one did take me by surprise and I really enjoyed my time between these pages! "Can you tell me what happened, Mary?" "No," she whispered. With thanks to Shawn Smucker and Revell Publishing for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    “Through me is the way to the city of woe. Through me is the way to sorrow eternal. Through me is the way to the lost below. Justice moved my architect supernal. I was constructed by divine power, supreme wisdom, and love primordial. Before me no created things were. Save those eternal, and eternal I abide. Abandon all hope, you who enter.” ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno Dan has long ago escaped the captivity of the mountain but has waited in the nearby town for his brother, Adam to join him. For some re “Through me is the way to the city of woe. Through me is the way to sorrow eternal. Through me is the way to the lost below. Justice moved my architect supernal. I was constructed by divine power, supreme wisdom, and love primordial. Before me no created things were. Save those eternal, and eternal I abide. Abandon all hope, you who enter.” ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno Dan has long ago escaped the captivity of the mountain but has waited in the nearby town for his brother, Adam to join him. For some reason, others have left the mountain, but Adam has not. Adam has been waiting for a long time for his brother, what he doesn't know is that others in the town have been waiting as well. "It's the kind of place you have to leave o your own. Everyone who has ever left has battled their own way out. In this place, our guilt consumes us." This is a very thought-provoking book that looks at guilt, grief, personal demons, anger, etc. It is a nod to Dante's Inferno (if you haven't figured that out already). I found it to be beautifully written and atmospheric. My advice is to go into this as blind as possible knowing nothing more than the small synopsis. This is Christian fiction, which I did not know when I requested the book. I was intrigued by the synopsis. You should be as well. I found this to be well written, a little slow in the middle but I acknowledge that this book is about a journey and journeys are not always fast-moving. There are beautiful passages that drip with despair, guilt, and hope. "...I went deeper than that. Deeper than the floor of the house, deeper than the foundations of the canyon, deeper than the dreams or nightmares or memories. I stayed there in that depth, and I slept like I never have before and will probably never sleep again, there on the edge of the river." I am purposely not saying much more about the storyline. What I will say that I found it to be intriguing, captivating, thought-provoking, and well thought out. A journey that is not to be missed. Thank you to Revell Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Smucker

    So, yes, I am the author and, yes, I'm giving it five stars! Don't trust my rating! Read it for yourself. If you have any questions about the book, please feel free to ask them here and I'll answer as best I can! Thanks for taking the time to read These Nameless Things.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    This is a book I will ponder long because it tells a rich truth that I recognize but, fittingly, can’t name. A story of waiting for something to happen that could have happened long ago. A rich journey. A quiet return. Like allegory meets fairytale meets post-apocalyptic hope. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    J. Bill

    Another compelling, thoughtful work from Shawn Smucker. Real characters with real struggles in a surreal world -- such as the one we often find ourselves in when we struggle with our failings, self-forgiveness, and redemption.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susie Finkbeiner

    Wow. This book. More details later. But for now. Wow.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I have never been so drawn in by a story that left me feeling so disturbed and unsettled for most of it. I read an early copy of this book because I'll read anything Shawn Smucker writes. I was disoriented from the first page. "WHAT is happening?" I kept asking myself. And with every page I turned, I was hoping for more understanding. What I got were more questions. This probably sounds like a negative review of the story, but this disorientation is a strength because I could feel it along with t I have never been so drawn in by a story that left me feeling so disturbed and unsettled for most of it. I read an early copy of this book because I'll read anything Shawn Smucker writes. I was disoriented from the first page. "WHAT is happening?" I kept asking myself. And with every page I turned, I was hoping for more understanding. What I got were more questions. This probably sounds like a negative review of the story, but this disorientation is a strength because I could feel it along with the characters. This book was like feeling your way in the dark through an unfamiliar house. At first, you inch along, afraid you're going to bang your shin on an end table or knock a picture frame off the wall. But then your eyes adjust and you start to see the shadowy outlines around you and a path opens up. I hit that "eyes adjusted" point about two-thirds of the way through the book, and now I want to go back and re-read the whole thing. You won't find many stories like this. And I hope you'll consider that the highest of compliments.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Josh Olds

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. These Nameless Things is a Dante’s Inferno-esque tale that deals with one man’s personal hell and his struggle for redemption. Smucker doesn’t hide the connections. The entrance into the mountain cave bears the famous warning Abandon all hope ye who enter here and a few other Easter eggs make the connection obvious and substantive. Our main character is Dan, who was—like every resident of the mountainside town—once a captive within the mysterious mountain. He knows he was tortured. He knows he e These Nameless Things is a Dante’s Inferno-esque tale that deals with one man’s personal hell and his struggle for redemption. Smucker doesn’t hide the connections. The entrance into the mountain cave bears the famous warning Abandon all hope ye who enter here and a few other Easter eggs make the connection obvious and substantive. Our main character is Dan, who was—like every resident of the mountainside town—once a captive within the mysterious mountain. He knows he was tortured. He knows he escaped. And now he lives with the purpose of guiding others who have escaped out of the mountainside and into a new life in town. He also knows that his brother is still in the mountain. Dan’s memories start to return and with that some of the secrets of the mountain are revealed. Or, well, at least made known as secrets. Dan’s once-mundane life is now filled with suspicion and uncertainty. And that only gets worse when a woman escapes the mountain and tells Dan that his brother is the last one left. These Nameless Things would have worked better as a short story. It is difficult—even with Smucker’s obvious skill—to maintain the aura and singular mystery of the story over the length of the entire novel. Fifty pages in, I was waiting for answers, any answers. A hundred pages in, I still did not know the world I was in, or its rules, or even, really, its people. The feeling of confusion and lostness is deliberate, but the sheer amount of time I was left in lostness made me disconnect from the book. I skipped forward a couple of chapters. I paged back a bit to see if I’d missed something. I read faster because absolutely nothing seemed to be happening that I could understand. Having persevered to the end, I can say it was worth it, but the journey can seem off-putting and, like the mountain, not everybody will make it out safely. This is my first Smucker book so maybe that’s his style. The press release I received with this book said “These Nameless Things will have readers frantically flipping pages for answers in this thought-provoking narrative.” That’s certainly true. This isn’t a light or easy read. It’s heavy, weighty, literary. The symbolism and imagery are poignant and powerful, but overshadow the story. I think Smucker could have rectified this by adding a second storyline—flashbacks to Dan and his brother before the mountain. It would have given the reader context for the mystery and a break from the heaviness of the mountain’s mystery. These Nameless Things is a slow, methodical, literary read. Know what you’re getting into before you read it. It’s markedly different and unique, which will both be its selling point and its struggle. The strength of the writing and the imagery kept me going despite a weak plot. I appreciate it in concept, but it falls a bit short in execution. Five stars for the writing and imagery. Three for the plot. I’ll average it at four overall.

  9. 5 out of 5

    JenLovesBooks

    So, this book here surprised me. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to feel when it came to this novel, as many people had said the story-line was a bit obvious. But, seeing it on NetGalley, reading that synopsis, and seeing that cover... there was no way I wasn't requesting it. Which, I'm glad that I did because there was so much in here that gave all the feels. Yes, I might have figured it out from the first few chapters, but the story getting there made it all worth while. The characters So, this book here surprised me. I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to feel when it came to this novel, as many people had said the story-line was a bit obvious. But, seeing it on NetGalley, reading that synopsis, and seeing that cover... there was no way I wasn't requesting it. Which, I'm glad that I did because there was so much in here that gave all the feels. Yes, I might have figured it out from the first few chapters, but the story getting there made it all worth while. The characters in here, plus the location (who knew a single mountain could cause so many chilling moments?? ), the fragmented moments in time, it was all so well done. There was a bit of a head start in the beginning, living me a little confused, but that quickly got straightened out. There were several characters in here, with a few not having much going on, but as the story continues they all played a role in what was long coming. For the most part, this focus' on Dan and his brother, with Miho following, and then Abe. These characters here were really well created, making me feel so many things. When it came to Dan, I was sent through confusion, anger, sadness, hurt, anger again (because he really doesn't get it for awhile), but then clarity, and finally happy to see him get to the conclusion he needed. Abe does not fall far behind, as he's the father figure (leader) type in here. He doesn't have many lines, but the ones he does say a lot. Then comes those chapters that really moves this story along. Most of that was due to one certain person that arrives, and she's no joke. That led to a really great second half that had me crying, hoping, wishing, and ready for the words that I had known were coming, to be said. That mountain, the village they came to know, the bottom of it where you must "abandon every hope, who enter here", the place to the east of the village, they each had their darkness and light moments. The only thing I would've liked more of, would be when it comes to Adam (Dan's brother). I felt like for all the build up to it, his resolve needed more. All must arrive to the that point on their own, at least by the rules of the story. I can also see how that would change a little, but it felt somewhat rushed in those last moments. Plus, adding the extra character in the end, didn't resolve what was never asked to be forgiven. Even so, everything else made this so memorable for me. Really good! ***I received this copy from Fleming H. Revell Company, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***

  10. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    This book is so different from most books that I read. It has a lot of dark undercurrents and is very unsettling. Dan and eight others live at the foot of a mountain they escaped from. They're all tied together in some way and it's unclear why they're all still there until close to the end. A mysterious woman shows up at Dan's door and everything begins to change. People start to remember things. It reminded me of "The Giver" in some ways and "Dante's Inferno" in others. There are so many layers This book is so different from most books that I read. It has a lot of dark undercurrents and is very unsettling. Dan and eight others live at the foot of a mountain they escaped from. They're all tied together in some way and it's unclear why they're all still there until close to the end. A mysterious woman shows up at Dan's door and everything begins to change. People start to remember things. It reminded me of "The Giver" in some ways and "Dante's Inferno" in others. There are so many layers and things to think about in this book. It deals with family relationships and responsibilities, guilt, love, forgiveness, temptation, consequences of decisions. It reminds you that no matter what you've done, you are never too far gone. There is always reason to hope. It shows the value of close friends and caring for one another in the hard times....of holding firm to someone when they can't hold on themselves. I hadn't read the description of the book before reading the book so it all took me by surprise. It kept me wondering if there was going to be a big correlation to the Christian life or something. It is a slower paced book. I don't think it's a book for everyone. Some may find it too slow or too dark. However, if you like books that make you think and ponder, give this one a try. Thank you to Revell for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    I’m pretty sure that this is my favorite book by Shawn Smucker! This book kept me hooked the whole way through. I didn’t want to stop reading. The storyline was definitely not what I imagined it would be. I really enjoyed it! I loved the message about forgiveness and grace. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Something is mysterious beyond the mountain from where they all came. No one wanted to go back. They had a village, friends, gardens. They seemed happy, yet some of them kept leaving to go East. Smucker book is riveting. It’s about guilt, shame, forgiveness, and moving on.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    These Nameless Things is a book that exposes the sins of the heart, yet brings the hope that we are not forever captive—there is a way out. There is one whose deception keeps us bound in the lies we tell ourselves, but there is another who is always present, fights our battles, sustains us and frees us from darkness. In this book the main protagonist, Dan, is living a complacent life. Temptation comes subtly, leading him to do things that exposes his sin, shame and guilt. He is shown the consequ These Nameless Things is a book that exposes the sins of the heart, yet brings the hope that we are not forever captive—there is a way out. There is one whose deception keeps us bound in the lies we tell ourselves, but there is another who is always present, fights our battles, sustains us and frees us from darkness. In this book the main protagonist, Dan, is living a complacent life. Temptation comes subtly, leading him to do things that exposes his sin, shame and guilt. He is shown the consequences others suffered because of his previous choices. This story is a study of redemption and the power of forgiveness. All life is a journey, but the path we take is our choice. Will we continue on the dark path, or change direction and step into the light? This book is well written, descriptive, made me think, and examine myself. The beginning held me up a bit, because I kept waiting for where the story would take me. I almost put it down, but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s definitely worth the read. I was given a copy of this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group through Interviews and Reviews, by way of NetGalley. This is my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I found this book to be both enjoyable and deeply thought-provoking, as is true of everything I've read from this author so far. Most of all, I was impressed by how it explores the profound and far-reaching effects of the choices we make in life and of the butterfly effect that occurs when we are willing to take responsibility for them, as well as when we are not.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alison Treat

    An eerily beautiful and mysterious novel, rich in symbolism. Each new twist gave me chills. The themes of guilt, forgiveness, grace, and eternity were expertly woven into the fabric of the story. I will be thinking about this book for a long time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Westbrook

    I received an advanced reader copy of this book. I finished the book this morning and I have been pondering what I want to say about it. Firstly, this is the first book I have read by Shawn Smucker. It is beautifully written and incredibly thought provoking. It makes you ponder how far you would go for someone you love while also discussing forgiveness. Are you willing to forgive others, truly forgive them for what they’ve done? What about yourself? It is definitely a book that will stay with me I received an advanced reader copy of this book. I finished the book this morning and I have been pondering what I want to say about it. Firstly, this is the first book I have read by Shawn Smucker. It is beautifully written and incredibly thought provoking. It makes you ponder how far you would go for someone you love while also discussing forgiveness. Are you willing to forgive others, truly forgive them for what they’ve done? What about yourself? It is definitely a book that will stay with me for sometime.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This is such a beautifully written, thought provoking, and suspenseful book! It is a story of guilt, loss, and memories suppressed. As the story unfolds, the mystery of those memories, and the terror of the mountain that overshadows the village kept me completely enthralled. The characters and the world the author has created are quite memorable. As Dan and the other characters journey together through the painful memories of their past, they hope to find acceptance, forgiveness and friendship. This is such a beautifully written, thought provoking, and suspenseful book! It is a story of guilt, loss, and memories suppressed. As the story unfolds, the mystery of those memories, and the terror of the mountain that overshadows the village kept me completely enthralled. The characters and the world the author has created are quite memorable. As Dan and the other characters journey together through the painful memories of their past, they hope to find acceptance, forgiveness and friendship. It is their story, but also, the story of all of us and our "nameless things." I did receive a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patty Baechler

    These Nameless Things is a pretty quick read but one that will stay on your mind for days and weeks. While These Nameless Things is fiction the story is one many of us, if not all of us, can relate to in our own lives. As Dan and the other characters in the book walk through the painful memories of their past decisions, they learn to forgive, accept and build lasting friendships. Through their journey they also learn to forgive themselves. I received an Advanced Digital Copy of the book from the These Nameless Things is a pretty quick read but one that will stay on your mind for days and weeks. While These Nameless Things is fiction the story is one many of us, if not all of us, can relate to in our own lives. As Dan and the other characters in the book walk through the painful memories of their past decisions, they learn to forgive, accept and build lasting friendships. Through their journey they also learn to forgive themselves. I received an Advanced Digital Copy of the book from the publisher.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Gardner

    This is one amazing book . If you like mysteries. It’s also one of these books that once you start it’s hard to put down. The Author really goes in depth with this book . Awesome is all I can say . I received a copy from the publisher . And I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a mystery type book .

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ed Cyzewski

    One of Shawn's best books, which is saying something for an award-winning author. It sucked me in right from the start and the only greater suspense compared to the story is finding the dang book in our boxes after we moved!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    If I could give this book 10 stars I would! These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker is a book you won’t be able to put down until you’re finished. And it will leave you wanting more of the story! I finished this book in less than 24 hours and was captured from the first chapter! Eerily suspenseful, very captivating, superbly written, seamless flow through the entire book! Every emotion is felt as the pages melt away! A beautiful story that reminds me of Pilgrim’s Progress, you will hang on to every If I could give this book 10 stars I would! These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker is a book you won’t be able to put down until you’re finished. And it will leave you wanting more of the story! I finished this book in less than 24 hours and was captured from the first chapter! Eerily suspenseful, very captivating, superbly written, seamless flow through the entire book! Every emotion is felt as the pages melt away! A beautiful story that reminds me of Pilgrim’s Progress, you will hang on to every word as this story of survival unfolds! These Nameless Things pulls the reader in and makes one feel as if they were right there in the little village themselves! What does the mountain hold? Where did these people come from? What happened to their past and their families? Read it. You will be in “wow” status with your breath taken away!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Wolfe

    These Nameless Things is being launched in strange times, when a focus on something other than civil awareness in a broken world seems trivial and shallow. But this book ... *this* book ... is not only timely; it is timeless. It reveals how our personal contributions to the grief, despair, and darkness of the world, however long hidden, can lead first to overwhelming despair and a sense of loss that, with God's grace and mercy, emerge as hope and freedom. Lifelong challenges for everyone. Shawn Sm These Nameless Things is being launched in strange times, when a focus on something other than civil awareness in a broken world seems trivial and shallow. But this book ... *this* book ... is not only timely; it is timeless. It reveals how our personal contributions to the grief, despair, and darkness of the world, however long hidden, can lead first to overwhelming despair and a sense of loss that, with God's grace and mercy, emerge as hope and freedom. Lifelong challenges for everyone. Shawn Smucker keeps us intrigued with an undercurrent of suspense, more mystery than anxiety. And from the very first words, I thought I knew. But I didn't, in the best possible way.

  23. 4 out of 5

    J.D. DeHart

    I have enjoyed Shawn Smucker's writing for the past few years now, and was delighted to see another book from this author. Smucker does wonderful and thought-provoking work in sharing the interior world of characters, and brings to mind the work of Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker in some ways. I'm always glad to read this author's work and recommend his books.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna LeBaron

    Finished reading the book! It was a page turner and left me breathless until the very last sentence!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tera

    Wow! Once again Smucker has given us a thought provoking story. The book has contrasts between good and evil. It causes you to reflect on your own guilt and shortcomings while realizing that we do have an escape those feelings when we cling to the One who is always good.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Hicks

    This book easily drew me in. I quickly got caught up in the actions, emotions and character’s drama in the story. This is my third fiction book that I have read from Shawn Smucker. His books are action packed, with meaningful deep seeded thoughts. This book actually mimics many of my current thoughts I am havIng during our current pandemic, then, living in a time where society vividly sees injustice and discrimination. Changes need to happen. The storyline leaving a bad place, then trying to fin This book easily drew me in. I quickly got caught up in the actions, emotions and character’s drama in the story. This is my third fiction book that I have read from Shawn Smucker. His books are action packed, with meaningful deep seeded thoughts. This book actually mimics many of my current thoughts I am havIng during our current pandemic, then, living in a time where society vividly sees injustice and discrimination. Changes need to happen. The storyline leaving a bad place, then trying to find a good place leaves good questions - What is life’s purpose, the responsibility of living in a community, because there are good and hard times, then the past, our memories, guilt, and real forgiveness. #thesenamelessthings has a great beginning, middle and ending. This is a fun, yet meaningful read, or book club conversation book. #thesenamelessthings

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy Nabors

    With These Nameless Things, Shawn Smucker gives us his best work to date. His writing just keeps getting better. With the same other-worldly and supernatural essence to the story like his previous books, These Nameless Things made me feel what the characters were going through physically and emotionally. The imagery of each scene and how he shows you what each character, especially the main character, is going through evoked such an emotional response I would some times catch my breath. While I With These Nameless Things, Shawn Smucker gives us his best work to date. His writing just keeps getting better. With the same other-worldly and supernatural essence to the story like his previous books, These Nameless Things made me feel what the characters were going through physically and emotionally. The imagery of each scene and how he shows you what each character, especially the main character, is going through evoked such an emotional response I would some times catch my breath. While I read fiction as my escape, in the midst of all that is going on right now in the world, These Nameless Things reminded me that forgiving not only others but ourselves brings healing and where there is healing there is always hope.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Renea

    These Nameless Things (which I cannot say or even think without singing it to Tori Amos’s “Precious Things”) started off slow, but once I got my bearings and had a better understanding of place, I started to enjoy it. While it would be better to go into this book without knowing anything about it, I will say that this was an interesting look at denial, grace, and forgiveness. I did wish that some of the relationships between characters were built up more fully, but this book kept my attention to These Nameless Things (which I cannot say or even think without singing it to Tori Amos’s “Precious Things”) started off slow, but once I got my bearings and had a better understanding of place, I started to enjoy it. While it would be better to go into this book without knowing anything about it, I will say that this was an interesting look at denial, grace, and forgiveness. I did wish that some of the relationships between characters were built up more fully, but this book kept my attention to the very end. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I received an advanced reader copy of These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker. This was the first book I have read from this author. I really enjoyed it! I read it all in one day! I had to know what was going to happen next. If you want a book that draws you in, read These Nameless Things.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Ulferts

    These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker is a thought provoking read in a class by itself! I will be pondering this book for a long time to come. I received an ecopy from the publisher. The opinion expressed is my own.

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