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Infinite Ground Hardcover – 4 Aug 2016

3.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (4 Aug. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178239947X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782399476
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.5 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Stunning - a totally original, surreal mystery shot through with hints of the best of César Aira, Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, and Julio Cortázar. Smart, clever, and honest. I doubt you've read anything quite like it. --Jeff VanderMeer, author of The Southern Reach trilogy

Weird, wonderful, totally indefinable... If not the Booker, then surely the Goldsmiths beckons --Justine Jordan, Guardian

An accomplished debut. It takes risks and challenges the narrative form. A brave new voice - Martin MacInnes is a writer to look out for.

--Jenni Fagan, author of The Sunlight Pilgrims

This is the work of a most singular and inventive mind, matched by writing with real flair and clarity. It is a book alive with ideas and cock-eyed intelligence, brimming with passages of genuine brilliance. Infinite Ground does that magical thing that only the very best novels do: it makes you see the world afresh. Dazzling stuff. --Graeme Macrae Burnet, author of His Bloody Project

Brimming with with strong, startling ideas... A curious and often remarkable book --Literary Review

A novel of intelligence, grace, cunning and warped imagination, one that melds and sometimes clashes styles and influences to create something original and unsettling. It is a bravura performance, and one that announces Martin McInnes as one of our most exciting new voices

--Stuart Evers, author of Your Father Sends his Love

Labyrinthine, beautifully written and teeming with ideas about fiction and reality that linger long in the mind... A frighteningly good debut novel --Lee Rourke, author of Vulgar Things

An impressive and finely textured debut... This is fiction as a metaphorical labyrinth of the mind --Edward Docx, Guardian

A talent of the first rank... We want to be informed and entertained, I might also say, provoked and enlarged, and Martin MacInnes delivers on all fronts with writing of genuine bravura and originality

--Christopher Potter, author of You are Here and How to Make a Human Being

Book Description

A brilliant panic attack of a debut novel, Infinite Ground is an investigation into the swarming, sinister beauty of our own microbiology, and a celebration of the all-too-brief splendour of being alive and the enduring splendour of the natural world.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For the record, I'd state that this is a highly enjoyable read and there's no doubting MacInnes' skill and invention. However, I'm more than a little bemused by the claims of originality made by other reviewers and in the author puffs on the book cover. Ironically enough, on the front cover Jeff Vandermeer calls the novel 'totally original' whilst in the same breath mentioning Cesar Aira, Nabokov, Angela Carter and Julio Cortazar. I'm almost convinced that this is some sort of wry writers' joke - I can't honestly say that I've ever read a book so utterly steeped in influence. Indeed, reading 'Infinite Ground' sent me spinning back to my undergraduate years in the early 1990s - when 'postmodern' was a buzzword, even though no-one could agree precisely what it actually meant.

MacInnes uses the familiar narrative ploy of the detective story to tread ground already well worn by Thomas Pynchon in his shorter fiction (most obviously 'The Crying of Lot 49'), though with less of the intellectual horseplay and knowing erudition. 'Infinite Ground' follows an Inspector on a missing person's case during the course of which (surprise, surprise) his own identity starts to fray at the edges and, indeed, so does the identity of everything around him. There's a Burroughsian focus on infection, or specifically, infections which colonise the individual and strip them of their will and finally their own being.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable debut - sly, wry, clever, tantalising, compelling ... real, irreal, surreal ... On the face of it, it's a story of an Inspector trying to find a man who's gone missing. Underneath, it's something other; familiar things gone strange, the ordinary morphed and twisted, it's a deeply psychological book, it's political, it's social commentary, biology, philosophy, life, the universe, hope. Read it.
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Format: Hardcover
A very strange book. I was hoping for an easy yet exciting read, but this dragged on and on for 2/3 of the book. More of a paranoid monologue in someones head, it all seemed strange, until I got to the last part where suddenly it became all clear. From a psychological point very interesting, but kind of depressing.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A strange but haunting novel. A widowed inspector, who is never named, investigates the disappearance of Carlos at a restaurant. As he does so, he is drawn into a phantasmagoric world where it is hard to distinguish between what is real an what is imagined or artificial. Some of the people he encounters in his investigation are actors playing parts. Carlos works for a nameless corporation doing work which is never defined. The corporation owns tracts of land in the South American jungle, but it is never clear why. The inspector is not sure how far the corporation is manipulating him. Did Carlos in fact disappear, or was everything in some way staged? When he goes to one of the jungle settlements himself, the blur between reality and unreality continues, and the forces of nature become more powerful, gradually taking everything over. Throughout the book, ordinary, often minute, objects take on surreal significance.

It is never quite certain what is happening. Events have the illogic of dream. But Martin MacInnes' evocative prose carries the reader along.
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Format: Hardcover
Well, I don’t really know what to say. I’ve just finished this book and feel a bit like I’ve been put through a washing machine on its most vigorous setting. One of the comments on the front cover of the book was “you are unlikely to have ever read anything like this before”. The guy who wrote that hit the nail on the head.

The basic premise is, on the surface, fairly simple. Set in South America during a very hot summer an Inspector is assigned to solve the mystery of a man who disappeared during a family reunion. But things are most definitely not what they seem and this is where Martin MacInnes excels, displaying a prodigious talent for turning the commonplace into the fantastic. He is a creative genius, with an imagination that seems to have no limits.

The first half of the book is fairly comprehensible in terms of a storyline – it’s just highly innovative and very unusual. The concepts are almost mind-blowing and just when I was getting to the point where I thought that my brain couldn’t process any more and was going into overload the book changed. Sadly, the reprieve was not a welcome one. The second half deteriorates, entering completely uncharted territory. It was way outside my levels of both comfort and understanding and just became too weird for me. It culminates in quite a long section which almost defies description – it could be a hallucinogenic vision, a portrayal of madness or the stuff nightmares are made of. Whichever it is, it left me behind and to be honest, I didn’t mind – the places it was going were not places I ever wanted to visit. Whilst I suspected that the narrative was allegorical, I couldn’t divine the meaning and just got more frustrated as the book became more and more surreal.

This is certainly a remarkable novel.
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