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...more
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“The Islanders” is a remarkable realistic speculative fiction tale about a murder, artistic rivalry and literary deception written by one of the finest writers writing now in any genre in the English language; eminent Briton Christopher Priest. This is a Rubik’s Cube of a novel, recounting the main plot points in a literary style reminiscent, in places, of Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”, and one that evokes early Ursula Le Guin (e....more
p.100: Enjoying the writing. The randomness of the content and organization -- the chapters are in alphabetical order of islands' names, not chronological -- puts the reader into an islander's lazy, passive state of mind.
p.200: Now seeing that the snipp...more
La lettura di The Islander non è facile, non tanto per per lo stile di Priest piuttosto scorrevole, quanto per il modo in cui le storie si dipanano.
The Islander non è un romanzo nè una raccolta di racconti bensì una guida turistica delle isole che compongono il Dream Achipelago. Ogni capitolo è dedicato ad un'isola la quale viene descr...more
This isn’t really a novel. There are recurring characters, but I read it more like a collection of short stories, mostly written in the style of a travel guide. Do read the introduction. I didn’t until halfway through when it occurred to me that the name of a character looked familiar and lo and behold it was because the character had written the introduction and I’d missed that! I really enjoyed several facets of this book. It doesn’t all connect tog...more
1. Read the introduction.
No, really. Even if you're an "I never read the introduction" kinda person, read this introduction. It's part of the story, and without it you are likely to be terrible confused, because...
2. Don't think this is a novel.
At least, not in the conventional, linear (or even non-linear) plot sense. Things happen, but not in any sort of chronological order. This is, as the introduction suggests, more of a gazette: an...more
The Islanders is as th...more
The novel takes place on a world with two large continents at the poles. Th...more
Perhaps the best thing to say is that whether you're a veteran to Priest's work or a newcomer, it's imperative to go into The Islanders with an open mind...more
Weeks later, I’m still thinking about this book, and, while that might suggest it errs on the side of too opaque, I’m biased. If I don’t understand a book at first glance, my first instinct is to assume it’s good. Like any Priest novel, it’s certainly a work of legerdemain. Certainly, the more you read, the more you begin to understand. Unlike the other Priest novels I’ve read, however, there is no moment of revelation when everythin...more
In 4 words:I HATED THIS BOOK!!
It was boring. There were some connections that connected some islands with characters or pl...more
They make periodic appearances in the "The Islanders". Unlike the "Dream Archipelago" which was a set of disjointed short stories about a hypothetical group of islands, there is a common story arc in "The Islanders".
The book is written in "Travel Guide" f...more
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Priest in June 2012, he was invited to a book festival I worked at, and he was presenting his new book (The Islanders). Being a broke student, I couldn't afford the 20€ the bookseller was requiring of me to buy the book (you'd think working pro bono for the festival I'd have some kind of discount right? But nooo). I was really annoyed at it, so when a few months ago I found the book for 9€, I grabbed it and didn't le...more
"The Islanders" is ostensibly in the guise of a "gazetteer" of the fictional Dream Archipelago, a world that has featured and referenced in several of Priest's other writings. The Dream Archipelago is a massive collec...more
A frustrating, yet enjoyable read. I enjoyed this strange collection of travel "entries" - but mostly under the pretense that all of the little narrative stories that were strung between the different islands would be revisited and resolved before the book's conclusion. Sadly there was no such conclusion, and the handful of narrative short stories that I enjoyed on certain islands were left without any follow-up.
Certain images and stories will definitely linger with me for a while si...more
There's no direct linear story that unfolds, as this book is essentially a group of short stories all connected together using the conceit of a gazetteer about the thousands of islands that make up this world. This world is essentially modern-day Earth, with internet, airplanes, etc, transplanted to a new planet where thousands of loosely co...more
For the most part, The Islanders reads like a bunch of travel brochures. Some parts just deal with the climate of the islands. Others focus only on certain features. So there is little continuity and it feels more like a short story collection. T...more
However, this book is not devoid of fl...more
Parts of it read like a travel guide and other parts are short stories, linked by recurring characters, places and events. Some chapters are as short as 1 page while some span many pages telling compelling...more
Literary cleverness is essentially a game and while some like it, i really do not and the book abounds with examples that are absurd and solip...more
He has published eleven novels, four short story collections and a number of other books, including critical works, biographies, novelizations and children’s non-fiction.
He has written drama for radio (BBC Radio 4) and television (Thames TV and HTV). In...more