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4.1 out of 5 stars
62
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 20 April 2011
Inverted world has as its central conceit a small "city" which is built on wheels and propelled on tracks ever forwards towards an elusive "optimum". The city is run by several guilds who's central purpose is to ensure the city never stops moving whilst keeping the reasons, and even the fact it is, a secret from the other inhabitants. Helward Mann is a youngster joining one of these guilds who then goes through an apprenticeship giving him an insight into the workings of both the city, and the world it is moving along.
It slowly becomes apparant to Helward that the world is very odd and this, along with conflicts with the "natives" brings his city to crisis point and (for want of a better term) civil war.
The nature of the city, the world and what happens will be a considerable surprise to any reader and forms an astonishingly original idea in sci-fi. Which considering how imaginative a genre it is, says quite a lot.
Personally, though, I found the novel more admirable than engaging, more intriguing than enthralling and ultimately more cerebral than emotional.
Undeniably well written, still oddly unsatisfying in the final analysis. A bit like haute cuisine, lovely, clever but not filling!
Buy this book: If you want to challenge yourself and keep your mind limber
Don't buy: If you like to really care about your characters and outcome.
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on 19 October 2013
Not sure if the whole premise of the story was even possible but a bit of a page turner with regard to the effects of the weird planet. Fairly weak characters and weak on details. Lots of time spent on the mechanics of moving the city which was a bit boring. Would have liked more on the functioning of the city and the need for eating only food from the city, which was never explained.
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on 22 January 2014
Conceptually inspired, and with somewhat of a twist in the tail. i'm not sure if I understand the ambiguous ending though; I like my scifi rigorous, and this fels more like fantasy, albeit from a technological perspective.
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on 23 October 2012
I recently decided to go through the famous list by David Pringle of his top 50 sci-fi books of the last fifty years, and of the ones I hadn't read this one appealed to me most, partly because of the concept and partly because of the promise of an excellent twist ending. I found it lived up to its premise and is rightly called a classic. The concept of a city being dragged through a barren land in order to keep up with something called the "optimum" was fascinating, but I especially liked the way the viewpoint switched in each part of the book, particularly in the final part where we discover the truth of everything. I won't say what happens but it was very well executed. One I would definitely recommend.
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on 31 December 2012
I remember reading this years and years ago and I spotted it again in a booksop in its new livery whilst looking for something else! As we all do at one time or another, I didn't buy it there and then!! The result being another year or so of searching!! But I found it and got it on Kindle on my android. Still a brilliant story and well worth the searching.
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on 31 October 2013
The story itself I found really interesting. It's very well written, with interesting characters and a clever plot. The majority of the book i really enjoyed however the ending felt just a little too rushed. It's because the majority of the book is so good that the ending feels such a let down.
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on 18 May 2011
Fantastic Priest book - fantastic read that, as usual had me wondering what was going on and whether i just really needed to re read it now that I thought I knew where he was coming from.
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on 6 September 2015
This is the first book I've read by this author and it certainly won't be the last. A great read from start to finish and the ending is great. A fantastic idea.
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on 24 April 2016
despite the review, i was highly disappointed by the book, very slow pace, the overall concept very poorly explained and described and the ending very poor.
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on 8 September 2014
Weirdly compelling novel that describes a Kafka-esque world in which nothing quite makes sense. Not perhaps a great classic but well worth a read.
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