A tale of murder, artistic rivalry and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. 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. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands, an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates why he has remained one of the country's most prized novelists.
About the Author
Christopher Priest's novels have built him an inimitable dual reputation as a contemporary novelist and a leading figure in modern SF and fantasy. His novel THE PRESTIGE is unique in winning both a major literary prize (THE JAMES TAIT BLACK AWARD and a major genre prize THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD); THE SEPARATION won both the ARTHUR C. CLARKE and the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARDS. He was selected for the original BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS in 1983.
What People are Saying About This
"Christopher Priest has long been the sort of author critics tend to whip out the serious descriptors for. . . . Judging only on the basis of this mesmeric travel guide to "an endless sprawl of lovely islands," I would not for a second hesitate to declare Priest a giant of the genre." —Strange Horizons
"One of the most complex, challenging and satisfying fictions from one of our finest novelists." —Telegraph
"A dizzying show of a novel. . . . Imagine Possession rewritten by Barbara Vine, or Robertson Davies at his most smoothly diabolical. A brilliantly constructed entertainment!" —Washington Post on The Prestige
"Extraordinary—like a dazzling magic act!" —Entertainment Weekly on The Prestige "A somber psychedelic journey through a landscape that seems a collaboration between Breugel the Elder and M.C. Escher, Priest's book is an engine of epiphany, and a formal marvel." —Jonathan Lethem, author, Motherless Brooklyn, on The Inverted World
"For an artistic endeavor so concerned with the idea of art, it is apt that The Islanders proves in the final summation such an artful work." —Strange Horizons
"If you've read Priest before you'll recognize some of the motifs, like twins and the theater, artists and what it means to create. If not, buckle up. This book confounded me, confused me, flipped me around and landed me back on the ground only to want to start the whole crazy ride all over again." — Boston Bibliophile
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A set of yarns regarding the lives of a few key people in the Dream Archipelago. Similar to here, but not quite.Mainly an interesting attempt to look at a world with as many fresh starts as there are islands. Some stay where they are, some travel when they can. Even mapping all the islands is infeasaible; they don't even have consistent names. Because of the inconsistencies in people's narratives, there is a central mystery to unravel.The pages turn quickly as we follow one character or another and how they live within the complex island system. There is a fair amount of humour, but some depth is missing in order to keep the book light.