Inverted World (S.F. MASTERWORKS) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Inverted World: A Novel. Hardcover – May 1974

54 customer reviews

See all 21 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£26.93 £15.66
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card for your child's school by voting for their favourite book. Learn more.
  • Prepare for the summer with our pick of the best selection for children (ages 0 - 12) across Amazon.co.uk.


Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card and 30 Kindle E-readers for your child or pupil's school.
Vote for your child or pupil(s) favourite book(s) here to be in with a chance to win.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (May 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060134216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060134211
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,289,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Book Description

'One of two or three of the most impressive pure-SFnovels produced in the UK since World War Two' ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

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 in1983. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Brian Flange on 21 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
Partly on the back of the justly-celebrated film of his 1995 masterpiece 'The Prestige', Chris Priest has recently been receiving something a little bit closer to the amount of attention and praise his work deserves. If you've enjoyed other Priest books, you owe yourself a copy of the majestic invention that is 'Inverted World'. High-concept SF can be a joy if undertaken by experts and 'Inverted World' is built around the 'highest' concept SF has seen for a very long time. While coming up with the notion of a world shaped like a hyperboloid with infinite limits at its poles and equator seems difficult enough, putting that notion to work in a compelling fiction seems a harder thing still. And yet Priest pulls it off: the world of his slightly dissociated exploratory Guildsman, Helward Mann, proves to be inverted in more ways than one and to reflect an odd light back on what we take to be our world. Without giving too much away, fans of later Priest books like 'The Affirmation' and 'The Prestige' will find in 'Inverted World' an early but powerful use of many of Priest's most interesting and enduring concerns. Incidentally, the NYRB Classics edition of 'Inverted World' contains a short but significant 'Prologue' which (I think) has never been printed in any of the many British editions that the novel has clocked-up since its initial publication in 1974. (Certainly the 'Prologue' doesn't appear in my old, beloved, 1986 Gollancz edition or the edition in Vol. 2 of the 1999 Christopher Priest omnibus.) The NYRB edition also has an engaging and informative afterword from John Clute, who relates 'Inverted World' usefully to Priest's other works and British SF as a whole. So this edition is well worth acquiring even if you're already a fan.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Blackhorse47 on 24 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
The city of Earth is a strange place. Few of its inhabitants are ever allowed out of the city. The few that are allowed are confronted by a bizarre situation. The city, all its buildings and inhabitants have been hoisted onto tracks and it is being slowly winched across the land. The reason for this and the ultimate destination of the city are unknown. Even stranger is the fact that no one is interested in straying far from the city. Those who do stray are often gone for years and then come back changed, distant and withdrawn, unwilling to talk about what they have seen.

Clearly the central protagonist of the novel is amongst the few who will get to leave the city and slowly learn the secrets of this bizarre world.

Of all weird world novels this novel is set in the weirdest world of them all. The revelations as to what the situation is and why it exists is gradually presented at just the right speed to keep you hooked.

Although in reality the book follows the age-old fantasy travelogue style of merely allowing the central character to wander from one edge of the world to the other, in this case it is worth going along for the ride. The situation is so bizarre that exploration is just what you want to read. The only real fault is that the ultimate revelation as to just what it has all been about is a trifle contrived, but that is ok, otherwise this book would have been perfect and perhaps not be such a forgotten gem.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By emmcol on 17 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
On his website, Christopher Priest includes a damning review of this book by Martin Amis, presumably on the grounds that if Martin Amis says it's bad, it must be good. In fact it is good, very good indeed. Certainly in my top ten SF. The idea behind it is utterly original. It is set in a universe where all the "spheres" (incl. the earth and sun) are (or appear to be: that is the question) hyperboloids. Some of the passages were responsible for more powerful dreams than any other book has ever caused me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By captain obvious on 18 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I randomly found this book while browsing. since then, i have bought several others in the SF masterworks series due to this story.

The entire concept is shocking and compelling. the personal struggles, sacrifices and daily routines are actually quite powerful. this book shows what people will do to carry on when they feel they must.

There are some very good parts where Priest descibes how things change during a journey. its rewarding to imagine it as if there yourself, what you would see and feel while moving through some trippy scenery.

Another thing i got from this novel was a broad view of a struggle that must be won at all costs. in a lot of ways this book mainly deals with struggles of varying scale and type.

As the end nears much is revealed and this creates some of the best parts. knowing puts things into context.

Definitely worth reading. i couldnt put this book down.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. Robinson on 5 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
The wonderful thing about SF is that one can create an entire world which is utterly different from our own, even a different shape! Hal Clement has done this in his book "Mission of Gravity" and Christopher Priest has a bash at it in this book, and does it brilliantly, creating a planet of hyperbolic shape, but one inhabited by normal people, who speak to each other in a polite and matter-of-fact way.

Imagine a kind of enormous railway carriage in which people live, being hauled along railway tracks across the desert. Why are they moving? Why make that colossal effort? Almost everyone living in the City, as the vast carriage is known, have no idea why. Only those who have left the City to explore are aware of the reason, and they are under sentence of death if they reveal the truth.

How can people be persuaded to keep the faith? How do they overcome obstacles in their path, to keep the City on the move? And above all, WHY? This highly-imaginative and haunting novel really keeps you guessing.

I thought about giving this 5 stars, as I notice other reviewers have done. My feeling is that it falls just a mite short of this. Personally I didn't quite get the ending, for a reason which I am unable to reveal, as it promptly gives away part of the plot! Nonetheless, certainly 4 stars and full respect to those who have given 5. Highly recommended to all SF fans.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback