The Islanders

Christopher Priest. Gollancz (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (342p) ISBN 978-0-575-07004-2
British novelist Priest (The Prestige) creates a mind-bending, head-scratching book (already much lauded in the U.K.) that pretends to be a gazetteer of the Dream Archipelago, uncountable islands spread around a world whose temporal and spatial anomalies make such a project futile. The dispassionate descriptions of separate islands include odd references out of which it’s possible to begin assembling a cast of characters: maniac artists, social reformers, murderers, scientific researchers, and passionate lovers. Some of these categories overlap, and all the actors are maddeningly fragmented, apt to fade away or flash intensely to life. Interpolated bits of directly personal narratives sometimes clarify and sometimes muddy the story (or stories), while uncanny events struggle to escape the gazetteers’ avowedly objective control and Priest’s elegant, cool prose. The result is wonderfully fascinating, if occasionally frustrating, and entirely unforgettable. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/07/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 339 pages - 978-0-575-07819-2
Paperback - 339 pages - 978-0-575-08864-1
Paperback - 345 pages - 978-1-78116-946-9
Ebook - 218 pages - 978-1-78116-947-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-1-78116-948-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-4142-3
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