- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz; 1 edition (22 Sept. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575070048
- ISBN-13: 978-0575070042
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Islanders Hardcover – 22 Sep 2011
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...piecing together the rather unpleasant lives of the main characters is entertaining; and there are episodes complete in themselves, short stories really, which are satisfying. The ghosts are excellent. And I consider the thryme an absolutely first-class invention. (THE GUARDIAN)
He understands the magic of imaginary worlds, where hot winds race across parched landscapes and everyone is a dreamer. It is his first book for nearly ten years, and well worth the wait... dotty but engrossing. (Max Davidson The Mail on Sunday)
A glowing mosaic of a novel, puzzling, transporting and nigh-on impossible not to start again immediately once finished. (Alison Flood The Sunday Times)
Filled with allusions to earlier stories, but never self-indulgently so, the book's ostensible exploration of the people and places of the Archipelago only serves to emphasise their unknowability. And our guide is someone with a very definite agenda. Gradually, a story of rivalry, trickery and murder begins to emerge. (GRIMMFESTBLOG)
I think that the Dream Archipelago experience the author presents in The Islanders and in the related story collection, is indeed a masterpiece of modern sff and I expect to be enchanted by it again and again across the years. (FANTASY BOOK CRITIC)
"The Islanders is a magnificent novel, one of my books of the year, and you must read it." (PUNKADIDDLE)
It's clever, it has its own witticism about it and when you add the final touch of a story that was hard to put down its one that left me exhausted when I turned the final page. A real joy and one I'll look forward to reading again. (FALCATTA TIMES)
You'll relish the mistiness and the lack of straight lines, the way the narrative fades in and out of clarity and the fact that, whereas other novelists tend always to provide something to hold on to, a handrail that will take you comfortably through the narrative, Priest never does. He certainly keeps hold of you with that unmistakable style that's beautifully restrained but also disturbingly vivid, but what he never does is say: 'This is the story.' (THE HERALD)
Reality is illusory and magical in the stunning new literary SF novel from the multiple awarding winning Christopher PriestSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Nice trip? '[M]ost of the cells in the prison do command an attractive view across the harbour..' Wish you were here? This is the kind of thing that could give fantasy a good name. Devilish ingenious - is this what being trapped inside a computer game would feel like? - combining novelistic episodes with aspects of a geography, or do I mean topography, handbook ('people who ran wars needed maps'), an entymological treatise and a deliciously po-faced local guide ('the visitor will be delighted by the impeccably maintained Covenant Palace' - of course Jan Morris got there first; have you been to Hav?) this is a yarn or adventure of the highest originality. The reading experience is a little like a sauna, sashaying from steam-room to cold shower, or maybe a banquet of small plates, the spicier interspersed with the more soothing to the palate. The feisty obsessive who wants to turn 'every island in the Dream Archipelago into a gigantic wind-chime' has the ring (or chime) of authenticity. (This is, as it turns out, in large part a meditation about art. Art as metaphor in extremis.) 'Every day the tune would change, she said, but it would bring harmony to the entire world. She died not long after..' Does she owe something to the eccentric, not to say bonkers, Gilbert Clavel's Herzogian excavatory endeavours? (Siegfried Kracauer's essay Felsenwahn in Positano will fill the gap)
What's striking about this alternative world, what makes it so enchanting, is the apparent absence of TV - although there are laptops. Shopping and plumbing are likewise left magically imprecise; that's fiction for you.Read more ›
It almost answers questions asked in the original collection of stories , and that really should be read first , to get the most out of this book.
Even on its own though , this is a complex and rewarding book that is best read over several days rather than in one sitting , as its episodic structure lends itself best to that and the vagueness of memory.
I read hundreds of books in a year and few stand out - this one did and still does ; it is a genuine masterwork.
This is a book to mangle minds. Told by several unreliable narrators - including the writer himself, who turns out to have dedicated his book to one of his mysterious characters, and thereby does that `up yours' gesture to the reader who wonders how much the writer of the foreword, Chaster Kammeston, is, or is not, Priest himself - this book systematically pulls rugs out from under the readers' feet, up-ending and wickedly landing them on the floor.
Those familiar with Priest's writing will be no strangers to his ability to severely disorientate and deliberately unsettle the reader, turning his dream landscapes to nightmare, whisking what seemed safe ground away to reveal the yawning chasms of danger beneath. Echoes of his earlier works are scattered throughout the text. Indeed the islands themselves are part of The Dream Archipelago, the title of a previous work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not quite as gushing as some of the previous reviewers, but I have to say that, for the most part, I enjoyed this very much. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Joe Oak
Having come across the Dream Archipelago in other Priest books, this seemed like an attractive prospect. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Rob Davies
All voyagers of the Dream Archipelago looking forward to an extended re-visit won't be disappointed. Mesmerising.Published 23 months ago by Dave Weaver
A bit of a weird book. Couldn't make my mind up if it is SciFi or not. A bit inconclusive but compelled me to read to the end despite it not really being my type of book!Published on 19 Jun. 2015 by Blondebabe
Another fantastic book from this author. Loved it. One of those books that draw you in.Published on 21 Sept. 2014 by Miss Sarah Elliott
The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Read morePublished on 26 April 2014 by sjhigbee
A year ago I'd never heard of The Dream Archipelago, these days I'm reading about it constantly! I must be going as scatty as one of Priest's characters...... Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2014 by Russell O'Callaghan
I would recommend reading the short stories in The Dream Archipelago before attempting this book. They introduce the setting for the Dream Archipelago, a constellation of islands... Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2014 by A. J. Poulter