A tale of murder, artistic rivalry and literary trickery; a chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands, an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates why he has remained one of the country's most prized novelists.
- Hardback | 352 pages
- 162 x 241 x 30mm | 590g
- 01 Jun 2012
- Orion Publishing Co
- London, United Kingdom
...piecing together the rather unpleasant lives of the main characters is entertaining; and there are episodes complete in themselves, short stories really, which are satisfying. The ghosts are excellent. And I consider the thryme an absolutely first-class invention. THE GUARDIAN He understands the magic of imaginary worlds, where hot winds race across parched landscapes and everyone is a dreamer. It is his first book for nearly ten years, and well worth the wait... dotty but engrossing. -- Max Davidson The Mail on Sunday 20111127 A glowing mosaic of a novel, puzzling, transporting and nigh-on impossible not to start again immediately once finished. -- Alison Flood The Sunday Times 20111213 Filled with allusions to earlier stories, but never self-indulgently so, the book's ostensible exploration of the people and places of the Archipelago only serves to emphasise their unknowability. And our guide is someone with a very definite agenda. Gradually, a story of rivalry, trickery and murder begins to emerge. GRIMMFESTBLOG I think that the Dream Archipelago experience the author presents in The Islanders and in the related story collection, is indeed a masterpiece of modern sff and I expect to be enchanted by it again and again across the years. FANTASY BOOK CRITIC "The Islanders is a magnificent novel, one of my books of the year, and you must read it." PUNKADIDDLE It's clever, it has its own witticism about it and when you add the final touch of a story that was hard to put down its one that left me exhausted when I turned the final page. A real joy and one I'll look forward to reading again. FALCATTA TIMES You'll relish the mistiness and the lack of straight lines, the way the narrative fades in and out of clarity and the fact that, whereas other novelists tend always to provide something to hold on to, a handrail that will take you comfortably through the narrative, Priest never does. He certainly keeps hold of you with that unmistakable style that's beautifully restrained but also disturbingly vivid, but what he never does is say: 'This is the story.' THE HERALD
About Christopher Priest
Christopher Priest's novels have built him an inimitable dual reputation as a contemporary novelist and a leading figure in modern SF and fantasy. His novel THE PRESTIGE is unique in winning both a major literary prize (THE JAMES TAIT BLACK AWARD and a major genre prize THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD); THE SEPARATION won both the ARTHUR C. CLARKE and the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARDS. He was selected for the original BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS in 1983.