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The Narrator

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The Narrator-the new novel by Michael Cisco, author of The Traitor and The Divinity Student-is also his most sophisticated. Cisco's prose, by turns phantasmagorical and exhilarating (reminiscent one moment of Robbe-Grillet, the next of Artaud, with a tinge of Thomas Ligotti, the imaginative virtuosity of Gene Wolfe or M. John Harrison), is like a stark sequence of strong i ...more
Paperback, 306 pages
Published August 21st 2010 by Civil Coping Mechanisms
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Forget all the critics telling you about this or that fantasy novel saving the genre by bringing adult themes to the stock tropes of the genre. And why should you forget them? Because the real salvation of dark fantasy and if I maybe so bold literature in general is in the writing of Michael Cisco. There isn’t writing this savage and disorienting happening really anywhere else. Set in an alternative world (whether an alternative earth, future or completely secondary isn’t ever really answered) w ...more
Bryan Lee Peterson
Michael Cisco has been a favorite of mine for almost ten years, from when I read his 1999 International Horror Guild Award winning, The Divinity Student. Cisco is not strictly horror, he lands in a category I can’t quite place, dark fantasy, Lovecraftian, gothic, something unto himself. His hallmarks are tremendous world-building, extremely rich visual description, character driven plots, unusually rendered and memorable side characters, and worlds as mysterious and magical as they are unorthodo ...more
Q: Who do you consider master world-builders, and what did you learn from them?

Michael Moorcock: I hardly know what this means. I used to draw a rough map if the story was a 'journey' adventure and made up the rest as needed for the story. My worlds are always inner (unconscious) worlds made manifest. I just learned to tap and shape that unconscious. I've never really understood 'world building' and it seems to derive from D&D etc. about which I know almost nothing.

I honestly believe this is
Robert Beveridge
Nov 09, 2012 Robert Beveridge rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone. Period.
Recommended to Robert by: already a fan of author
Michael Cisco, The Narrator (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2010)

Every modern (along with many ancient) war on the planet has produced a definitive novel—The Killer Angels, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Thin Red Line, Purple Mountain, the list goes on. But war, especially in recent times, has gained something of a broader definition than it had during the days when heavily-armored men spent hours lining up on battlefields to charge each other with lances. Nowadays, we go to war against ideas. Fe
Caleb Wilson
Equally grotesque, hilarious, beautiful, and frightening, and I don't think there are many novels I can say that about. Cisco is an intensely visual writer, and there are so many vivid images here that reading this (once you get past the adjustment period, required (at least for me) from all of Cisco's books) is something like watching a very old yet brightly-colored foreign movie whose film strip begins to melt, but then you find there's another film strip behind it, congealing from the bits of ...more
I couldn't finish it. I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it; the prose is interesting and it's very weird in a good way. It's just that I was bored. At about the half way point, I felt like there was nothing keeping me reading beyond a compulsion to finish the book and encounter another strange set piece. It just wasn't enough.
Utterly insane -- as though one of the science-fantasy worlds of Gene Wolfe or China Mieville was spiked with metafictional games a la Borges or Calvino. Cisco more or less pulls it off, which left me pretty impressed.
Best thing I've read in a long time.
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Michael Cisco is an American writer and teacher currently living in New York City. He is best known for his first novel, The Divinity Student, winner of the International Horror Guild Award for Best First Novel of 1999.

He is interested in confusion.
More about Michael Cisco...
The Divinity Student The Traitor The Great Lover The San Veneficio Canon The Tyrant

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