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  1. #136
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    I just read Inverted World. It was the first genre book I've read in quite a while, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a lot more straightforward than typical Priest, but I don't think it's poorer for it.

  2. #137
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    Good to see people are still reading CP's books!

  3. #138
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Glad you enjoyed Inverted World, Eventine. It's very entertaining but his other books go further into the unique sense of wonder he creates. His new book should be out next summer...

    On a related note, I just read The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster - I'm not quite sure which book came first but in content, if not context, it's very much like Priest's The Affirmation and just as good. Absolutely recommended, and even though from the cover it looks deceptively like a standard detective novel, it's much more than that.

  4. #139
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Whilst I'm passing through, Christopher's website's always full of interesting points. Never afraid to give an opinion! Might be worth a look, if you haven't already seen it: http://www.christopher-priest.co.uk/
    Mark

  5. #140
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Spent a very interesting few hours in Blackwells on Charing Cross Road last Saturday listening to Chris chatting with Simon Ings about his new book, The Adjacent, then got my signed copy and had a quick chat with the man himself. He described The Adjacent as a "love story" Anybody read it yet? It had a very good review from Adam Roberts on his blog.

    Also got a signed copy of Simon Ings' Dead Water which looks interesting too.
    Last edited by Ropie; June 26th, 2013 at 09:31 AM.

  6. #141
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie View Post
    Spent a very interesting few hours in Blackwells on Charing Cross Road last Saturday listening to Chris chatting with Simon Ings about his new book, The Adjacent, then got my signed copy and had a quick chat with the man himself. He described The Adjacent as a "love story" Anybody read it yet? It had a very good review from Adam Roberts on his blog.

    Also got a signed copy of Simon Ings' Dead Water which looks interesting too.
    Yes, I reviewed it a few posts down

  7. #142
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    Ah yes, thanks. I see you gave it 5 stars but I'm not reading any reviews or blurbs until after I've read it so as to avoid any potential spoilers Just out of interest, how would you say it stacks up against his best work?

  8. #143
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie View Post
    Ah yes, thanks. I see you gave it 5 stars but I'm not reading any reviews or blurbs until after I've read it so as to avoid any potential spoilers Just out of interest, how would you say it stacks up against his best work?
    It feels very much like a culmination of themes and ideas running through his previous books, particularly The Affirmation, The Dream Archipelago, The Prestige, The Separation and The Islanders. It works well on its own, but in the context of Priest's other work it takes on a whole other meaning and has a more impressive weight.

  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    It feels very much like a culmination of themes and ideas running through his previous books, particularly The Affirmation, The Dream Archipelago, The Prestige, The Separation and The Islanders. It works well on its own, but in the context of Priest's other work it takes on a whole other meaning and has a more impressive weight.
    I have read only about 1/3 of Adjacent so far but I see clearly the above and I agree that reading the above novels adds to this one; Adjacent is very impressive so far and could be my #1 sff at least if it stays this way till the end

    I also read The Inverted world - for some reason after i finished the first part of The Adjacent a few days ago, I felt like reading that (which together with The Extremes was the only "major" CP book not yet read by me) and I enjoyed it to a large extent but I thought it was a book of its time which could have stood the test of time until about 1990 or so, but today feels dated as well as having a major flaw in the grounding of perceptual in physical (ie the twist in part 4, sphere vs hyperboloid etc); the later Priest books where the perceptual dominates and the physical is generally ignored work much better imho

  10. #145
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werthead View Post
    It feels very much like a culmination of themes and ideas running through his previous books, particularly The Affirmation, The Dream Archipelago, The Prestige, The Separation and The Islanders. It works well on its own, but in the context of Priest's other work it takes on a whole other meaning and has a more impressive weight.
    I read The Adjacent last week. For any other writer I'd say this was an excellent book, but it's Christopher Priest, and I enjoyed it much less than I did The Islanders or The Separation. I did enjoy chunks of it (especially the parts set in The Dream Archipelago) but the characters did not interest me and the settings often lacked atmosphere. From the almost wall-to-wall glowing reviews for this book on the web I got the feeling that it might be more of a 'mainstream' effort (intentionally or not) and I did think that quite often whilst I read it. The whole thing seemed to lack that magic spark that usually makes his work so fantastic. I wasn't totally disappointed by it, but I was quite disappointed that I wasn't more impressed!

    To dampen my slight sense of an anticlimax I've picked up one of the few other CP novels that I've not yet read, The Quiet Woman, and am comfortably back in Priest-world now! I've often seen this described as a 'lesser-work' but at half way through it is absolutely superb so far!

  11. #146
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    I found The Adjacent an interesting read for the sake of reading but a somewhat muddled story with no real solid ending like the author ran out of time to write one.

    I'm not saying to skip it because as a reading it's quite good but don't expect the structure of a normal book.

  12. #147
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by privateidaho View Post
    I found The Adjacent an interesting read for the sake of reading but a somewhat muddled story with no real solid ending like the author ran out of time to write one.
    Not sure I agree with this. The ending was always going to be somewhat vague in a book that constantly flicks between differing realities, and CP is well known for producing ambiguous non-endings. And none of the book felt in any way rushed or muddled - it was meticulously crafted if anything.

  13. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie View Post
    Not sure I agree with this. The ending was always going to be somewhat vague in a book that constantly flicks between differing realities, and CP is well known for producing ambiguous non-endings. And none of the book felt in any way rushed or muddled - it was meticulously crafted if anything.
    We'll have to agree to disagree then...I was hoping this book would end with a real and tangible connection between the various vignettes,it did not.I'm new to CP so I had no expeience with his work,if it's all like this perhaps I'll think again before reading.I loved the actual writing itself,that was amazing,but really this book is a set of short stories with just the slightest hint of connection.Suddenly you find yourself at the end thinking "what just happened".

  14. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by privateidaho View Post
    We'll have to agree to disagree then...I was hoping this book would end with a real and tangible connection between the various vignettes,it did not.I'm new to CP so I had no expeience with his work,if it's all like this perhaps I'll think again before reading.I loved the actual writing itself,that was amazing,but really this book is a set of short stories with just the slightest hint of connection.Suddenly you find yourself at the end thinking "what just happened".
    Ah, I see - no, you won't find the loose ends tied up in any of Priest's work! If you think about it though, if everything was concluded and explained it would greatly lessen the impact of the story and how you think about it afterwards. If the author gives you everything on a plate then all you're reading is the author's idea of the story; what I always liked about his novels is that CP leaves them just open enough by offering some tantalizingly vague (or sometimes downright concealed) clues, connections or semi-connections about what's happening, but still give you the option of forming the details in your own head, almost beyond the boundaries of the book. Most of his books work along these lines and The Adjacent is very good example of how this can equally annoy and delight different people!

    However, The Adjacent does not, imho, offer the absolute best of Priest and you're right that it could be seen as a series of very loosely connected short stories. The 'looseness' of the connection between the chapters is what creates quite a lot of the tension though. Reading into characters' names often works very well with looking for connections in Priest's work too.

    If you do enjoy his writing then you could try The Prestige, which is also brilliantly written and (of course) a bit of a puzzle, but set in a much more tightly contained world where even if things are not as they seem the setting and plot thread at least remain constant. His best books are The Affirmation and The Islanders, I think (fwiw).

    I just finished reading The Quiet Woman, and I loved it. It is, dare I say it, of it's time (1990) and reads a bit like an Ian Banks thriller, but with that uneasy sense of twisted reality at which CP excels.
    Last edited by Ropie; September 28th, 2013 at 06:41 AM.

  15. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by privateidaho View Post
    We'll have to agree to disagree then...I was hoping this book would end with a real and tangible connection between the various vignettes,it did not.I'm new to CP so I had no expeience with his work,if it's all like this perhaps I'll think again before reading.I loved the actual writing itself,that was amazing,but really this book is a set of short stories with just the slightest hint of connection.Suddenly you find yourself at the end thinking "what just happened".
    I kind of disagree about the lack of connections;

    Spoiler:
    the main male character is Tibor Tarent in various incarnations as Tom Trent is the clear English analogue, Tomak Tallant is the Prachous one, while Tomasz/Mike Torrance split his personality; then Florence/Firentza as the woman with a mission who meets the hero and sort of seduce him and Krystyna-Mellanya and Melanie as the love of his life); the flight of Mellanya from Prachous to England is one of the most amazing pieces of fiction from C. Priest as it shows the above transformation in motion so to speak)


    I agree that Affirmation is the one most amazing novel of C. Priest though if you want a definite ending you won't get anything like that there as the ending is actually very famous

    Spoiler:
    it is a mid-sentence stop:

    For a moment I thought I knew where I was, but when I looked back




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