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The Vorrh Hardcover – 3 Dec 2012


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Hardcover, 3 Dec 2012
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Honest Publishing (3 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957142722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957142725
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,223,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

In the literature of the fantastic, almost lost beneath a formulaic lard of dwarves and dragons, it is only rarely that a unique voice emerges with a work of genuine vision to remind the genre of what it should be aspiring to and what it's capable of doing... In Brian Catling's phosphorescent masterpiece, The Vorrh, we have one of the most original and stunning works of fantasy that it has ever been my privilege to read... The Vorrh is like a first experience of the ocean. Read this book, and marvel. --Alan Moore

There are not many books that rearrange the molecules of your being, turning your eyes inside out. The Vorrh, this saturnine post-traumatic testament, is one of them... A work of idiocy and genius. --Iain Sinclair

When even the warts of a novel are winning, it s hard to misunderstand that you have something special on your hands, and The Vorrh is absolutely that. Equal parts dark fantasy and surrealist dream, it is inescapably dense, and unrelentingly intense. Shelve it shoulder to shoulder with 2012s other most notable novels, be they of the genre or not, then consider carefully which stands lacking in comparison. ----Tor.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Prepare to lose yourself in the heady, mythical expanse of the Vorrh. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Layfield on 30 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I finished reading the Vorrh early this morning. It is a beautifully written novel, full of compelling imagery and deep insight; the level of detail from facial expressions that are so clearly described that you can mimic them whilst reading, to historical references like the tarred power cable attached to one of Edison's lights lured me in and kept me utterly engaged. The story itself is strange and weird yet utterly enjoyable and ultimately very satisfying.

There's a defiantly steampunk feel to the novel, with a bizarre (yet real) handgun ([...]), so powerful it can split a man in two, a bow that has a symbiotic bond with its carrier and strange electrical / photographic machines that can rewire the brain -- all set across multiple timeframes and couched in the dying embers of empire. The vision of the bakelite robot servants still lingers with me and the book is heaving with strange mechanical contraptions.

This is a phenomenal piece of work with a vast scope and it never feels engineered or contrived -- you are left with the sense that this world, this forest really exists somewhere and can be reached, if only you could remember where it is...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam Leeves on 27 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every so often, a book comes along that defies genre. 'No Country for Old Men' is more than a thriller or a western. 'The Big Sleep' is more than a crime novel. And what exactly is 'The Catcher in the Rye'? Brian Catling's masterful 'The Vorrh' is another such book. This is not just another Fantasy. There are remnants of the Western in there, Adventure, Crime, Romance. And still, it transcends these genres as well. It is simply 'The Vorrh' and is a much better book because of that.

Of course, due to the supernatural themes and the slight eccentricities of some of the characters, it will inevitably go down as a Fantasy novel. This isn't entirely wrong, nor is it a black mark against the book, indeed, it's a genre that hold some weight. 'The Vorrh' is, however, a new breed of Fantasy. Catling creates a world of wonder and imbues it with Cormac McCarthy-esque violence and a tension that is entirely it's own. Again, it is simply 'The Vorrh'.

I enjoyed the book greatly, from the richness of the language to the idiosyncrasies of the alternate world that had been created. There were times I feared that there were a few too many characters, but, as I read on, I realised just how necessary they all were. There were a few characters I would have liked to have seen slightly more of, but, again I soon realised, that that would have ruined the mystery surrounding them.

Put simply, 'The Vorrh' is a book that is hard to define owing mainly to its stark originality. If you're looking for a book where the language is rich and the storytelling is masterful, look no further. And, in this world where there are a few too many shades of grey, who isn't looking for that?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Euan Gillespie on 19 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If anything could set a reader up for disappointment, it would be Alan Moore's glowing foreword to this novel. I'd wondered whether anything could live up to that praise. 485 pages later, 'The Vorrh' has defied all my expectations, and I find myself struggling to relate the experience to others.

In terms of structure, the novel reads as a collection of related threads more than a single narrative. Some of these tracks collapse and intermingle as the story progresses; others run parallel but don't touch. In style, it balances well-paced narrative with a decidedly poetic flair. In tone, it blurs the line between fiction and truth, and between the deeply symbolic and the startlingly real, with an ease that feels less like "fantasy" and more like a deep and raw imagination at work. In short, it is unlike anything I've read, and I cannot recommend it enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Georgia P. on 18 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Vorrh is one of the best samples of fantasy fiction that has been written in the last decades. Moreover, it is a book that walks skillfully across genres, like only very good literature can do. It is as much fantasy as it is historical fiction and steampunk, playing all along with Jungian archetypes. The Bowman, one of the protagonists-narrators is such a one. The eye, and everything related to that (blindness, cyclopes, photography and much more), is another. More protagonists include Sir William Gull, one of Queen Victoria's personal doctors and the one who first understood and named anorexia nervosa, Eadweard Muybridge and his famous zoopraxiscope and Raymond Roussel, the author who influenced the Oulipo and the surrealists.

It is from Roussel's novel Impressions of Africa that the Vorrh takes its name. Brian Catling's Vorrh is a vast, unmapped territory with not easily defined forms of existence and irreversible effects to whoever goes too deep or stays inside for too long. All the themes of the coloniser and colonised are revisited but in a new way, one of an author that has been exposed to and digested postcolonial rhetorics; this has a very interesting effect that feels at the same time recognisable and entirely new.

The Vorrh is also a metaphor for the savage, for the woman and the unknown. But most importantly it is a metaphor for reading. It is dense and intense and it will have an irrevocable effect on the reader, same as the forest has to those who dare enter its core. I cannot recommend it enough.
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