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Theatre of the Gods [Paperback]

M. Suddain
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

5 Jun 2014

This is the story of M. Francisco Fabrigas, explorer, philosopher, heretical physicist, who took a shipful of children on a frightening voyage to the next dimension, assisted by a teenaged Captain, a brave deaf boy, a cunning blind girl, and a sultry botanist, all the while pursued by the Pope of the universe and a well-dressed mesmerist.

Dark plots, demonic cults, murderous jungles, quantum mayhem, the birth of creation, the death of time, and a creature called the Sweety: all this and more waits beyond the veil of reality.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (5 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099575647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099575641
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 535,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Suddain is a journalist and sci-fi/fantasy author. He has written fiction and non-fiction for Sunday, Metro, The Guardian, McSweeney's, Vice, Five Dials, Opium, BBQ Aficionado, Popular Tree, The Singular Gentleman, Caravan & UFO, Fancier Financier, and The Onion. He is a founding editor of Blacklist Publishing, a firm dedicated to rescuing lost or banished works. His first novel, Theatre of the Gods, was published by Jonathan Cape in June 2013.

Product Description


"Matt Suddain's debut is a crazily multilayered odyssey through space, time and the universe next's definitely not dull. No book in which the Pope addresses his enemies as 'Bumface' runs that risk." (Imogen Russell Williams Metro)

"Wholly original, and by turns annoying and exhilarating, this antidote to formula fiction reads like Douglas Adams channeling William Burroughs channelling Ionesco, spiced with the comic brio of Vonnegut." (Eric Brown Guardian)

"An extremely literate and clever story. This is a delightful book, full of surreal twists and turns of invention and humour, written in a breezy and engaging manner." (Simon Marshall-Jones Interzone)

"Literate, clever, surreal and inventive" (Bookseller)

Book Description

Steampunk space opera? Damn right.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Echoes in the Valleys of Perception 28 Jun 2013
If Jasper Fforde wrote space opera, it might come out a little like Theatre of the Gods. This is a rambling shaggy dog story of multiple universes, time travel and interdimensional space jumps. There are also some terrible puns based around obscure pop-culture references. If you like those sorts of things, you'll love it. The novel is a direct descendant of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and its no surprise to discover that M Suddain is an anagram of 'I am D Adams', albeit using different letters.

'...the deadly fossil squid, who sinks itself into the mud and pretends to be a fossil, waits to be dug up, then kills and eats the discoverer...'

I must confess I didn't quite know what to expect from this book, when I opened it. Published by a new (fictional) imprint, Blacklist Publishing, purveyors of banned books and with an opening that includes the words 'every word you are about to hear, is a lie! Even these ones!', it certainly grabs its readers' attention, but it took me a while to find my way in.

Chapters are comparatively short and contain a host of peculiar personalities, and at least as many different ideas and concepts, many of which are, well, a bit silly. So at first I struggled. Who was who?, what were they doing?, and why were they doing it? More to the point, I couldn't help wondering, why should I care?

But gradually Suddain drew me in. His peculiar breed of humour is infectious; before long I was reading on, enthralled, waiting for the next set piece, the next joke. The novel is packed with adventure and daring-do. On top of the space/time/interdimensional travel, there's mind-control, a giant worm, fantastical priests, ruthless assassins, cannibals, an insane pope and even an enormous homunculus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must read 14 July 2013
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
To be honest this is a book I put off reading for quite some time. Not because I thought that it was going to be bad but at the moment I've had so many titles from established names land that I had to figure out priorities. Sadly this was one of the times when I went against my gut that said "Try the new guy;"

So when starting this, I started to kick myself for putting it off so long. The writing is sharp, the characters not just believable but wonderfully rounded and fully fledged and when added to an overall arc that puts Steampunk in Space really gave me a story that I couldn't put down (so much so that I finished at 4:30 AM.

Throw into the mix a debut that puts a number of established names to shame and all round if you only read one Steampunk debut this year make it this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary fiction at its very, very best 10 July 2013
By Touff1
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is incredibly hard to get to grips with the fact that this is a first novel. Every time I try to get my head round that it just doesn't compute. It is so accomplished, so sharp, so witty, so mad, dangerous, big-hearted, fun, complex, easy, complete, challenging...everything! It is so beautifully constructed and such a great story that you'd think it was a journeyman-author's masterpiece; one written after 10 near-misses.

Theatre of the Gods is the most surprising and unusual book I've ever read. It's just not remotely like anything I've ever read before - and believe me, my brain was crying out to put it in a box! I found one box: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, but then I took it out of that box again a few chapters later because I really don't think there is any part of Theatre of the Gods that really and truly reminds me of any other author in any other genre. It's that good. It's totally and utterly unique.

You don't need to be a Sci-Fi fan (I'm not really) or a Fantasy fan (I'm not really that either) to absolutely love this book. It has such quality. Such class. It is so wonderfully human - which is strange considering many of the characters! It falls somewhere between genius and madness - in a good way! The use of words, the way the sentences are constructed, the descriptions, characters, dialogue and plot constantly surprised me. It is literary fiction at its very, very best. I'm not surprised there was a bidding war between publishers to get their hands on this book. If this is a first novel, we're in for a hell of a ride in the future!

Oh and Homunculus. There's that too!
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