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Travels in Nihilon

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  33 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
From one of Britain’s leading writers comes a biting satire about a country founded on Nihilism and a government gone mad
Nihilon is a country where honesty is outlawed, drunk driving is mandatory, and nihilism reigns supreme. Five researchers are sent into the midst of this chaos to compile a new guidebook about the peculiar, unexplored land and its all-powerful leader,
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published September 13th 1971 by W.H. Allen / Virgin Books
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Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
More than a tad baffling, this book, which may have been the author's intention. And yet it's a very simple story. Five people set out from the fictional land of Cronacia to the neighbouring republic of Nihilon, charged with writing a guidebook to the only nihilistic state in the world. Setting out by five different routes - bike, ship, train, plane, and car - they arrange to meet in the capital. But instead they are all caught up in a violent political upheaval as the more conventional forces o ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it liked it
An odd book this, one that was recommended to me. Overall it reads like an old fashioned exploration novel, Erewhon or Gulliver's Travels, but the land under exploration is like none other I've read anywhere, a Nihilistic society where the rules change from moment to moment and something akin to organised chaos reigns. The book follows five explorers, each of whom travel to Nihilon by a different route and it has immediate appeal since the first encounter at the border I found very funny. Howeve ...more
Billy Pilgrim
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
I remember reading this first time it came out, and for some reason decided I would like to revisit it 30 years later.
It concerns the planning of a guide book into as the largely uncharted Nihilist republic of Nihilon, and whilst it has some nice comic touches in the inverted logic of the Nihilists and a precursor of Douglas Adams Babelfish (the Tonguemaster) it doesn't seem to know where it wants to go.
The characters start of as would be guidebook writers, but change into Revolutionaries. The
Rob Wiltsher
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rob by: Mr Peters, my English teacher at school
Finally finished it and ended up less than satisfied with the ending, it has to be said. Lack of sympathy with most of the characters didn't exactly help.
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Alan Sillitoe was an English writer, one of the "Angry Young Men" of the 1950s (although he, in common with most of the other writers to whom the label was applied, had never welcomed it).
For more see
More about Alan Sillitoe...