Empire of the Senseless

Empire of the Senseless

3.49 (1,550 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Introduction by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?


Originally published in 1988, Empire of the Senseless marked a turning point in Acker's wild, inimitable style. Considered one of her more accessible works, here Acker candidly addresses her lifelong obsessions: childhood and trauma, language and sexuality, criminality and corruption, oppression and rebellion. Abhor (part human, part robot) and her lover Thivai (a pirate) traverse Paris in a dystopian future, in search of a mysterious drug that Thivai needs in order to maintain his ability to love. Navigating the chaotic city, they encounter mad doctors, prisoners, bikers, sailors, tattooists, terrorists, and prostitutes, while a band of Algerian revolutionaries take over, and the C. I. A. plots to thwart them all.

Sexually explicit, graphically violent, Empire of the Senseless resists the desensitizing of cultural consciousness and the disintegration of interpersonal communication. A timeless, prescient parable, it speaks profoundly to our social and political history as well as our present reality.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 137.16 x 205.74 x 17.78mm | 249.48g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0802128351
  • 9780802128355
  • 423,857

Review quote

PRAISE FOR EMPIRE OF THE SENSELESS "[A] complex, high-speed, intensely intellectual, intensely offensive, post-modernist, pained and painful, punk, fantastic, fictional construct and elaborate tattoo of a novel." --New York Times

"Empire of the Senseless is a family romance turned inside out, a twisted re-creation of quest sagas and Bildungsroman and TV sitcoms." --Philadelphia Enquirer

"An apocalyptic tale that makes A Clockwork Orange look tame." --Publishers Weekly

"If you care to learn why Kathy Acker is such an important writer, I suggest you put aside your preconceptions, stop making sense, and read this book immediately." --Alan Moore
show more

About Kathy Acker

Kathy Acker (1944-1997) was an influential writer whose many books include Great Expectations; Don Quixote; Literal Madness; Empire of the Senseless; In Memoriam to Identity; My Mother: Demonology; Pussy, King of the Pirates; Portrait of an Eye; and Rip-Off Red, Girl Detective and the Burning Bombing of America.
show more

Rating details

1,550 ratings
3.49 out of 5 stars
5 26% (403)
4 30% (461)
3 22% (342)
2 12% (186)
1 10% (158)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X