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The Adjacent | [Christopher Priest]

The Adjacent

A photographer returns to a near-future Britain after the death of his wife in a terrorist incident in Afghanistan. And finds that the IRGB has, itself, been suffering terrorist attacks. But no-one knows quite what is happening or how. Just that there are similarities between what killed the photographer's wife and what happened in West London. Soon he is drawn into a hall of mirrors at the heart of government.
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Publisher's Summary

A photographer returns to a near-future Britain after the death of his wife in a terrorist incident in Afghanistan. And finds that the IRGB has, itself, been suffering terrorist attacks. But no-one knows quite what is happening or how. Just that there are similarities between what killed the photographer's wife and what happened in West London. Soon he is drawn into a hall of mirrors at the heart of government. In the First World War a magician is asked to travel to the frontline to help a naval aerial reconnaissance unit hide its planes from the German guns. On the way to France he meets a certain H.G. Wells. In the Second World War on the airfields of Bomber Commands there is also an obsession with camouflage, with misdirection. With deceit. And in a garden, an old man raises a conch shell to his ear and initiates the first Adjacency.

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.

©2013 Christopher Priest (P)2013 Audible Ltd

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  • F Gibb
    Dumfries
    9/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to follow. Hard to connect."

    A series of somewhat connected tales- although as a listener it was hard to gather the threads together- and some of them just seemed to go nowhere. The writer uses a variety of literary tricks and techniques in an attempt to make the story more dynamic- but they seem to fall flat. It wasn't awful, it was just a bit flat.

    A couple of hours from the end is the following passage:

    "Even though most of the turns were noisy and filled with singing or acts of physical exertion, and made attempts to provide a spectacle, I felt uninvolved and started to drift mentally; thinking about how much I wanted to depart from this island and return to my own life"

    When he wrote that he showed his first real insight into how I was feeling.

    I wish him all success in his future writing, but "The Adjacent", I'm afraid, wasn't for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul D
    Halland, United Kingdom
    12/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a jumble!"
    What would have made The Adjacent better?

    Sticking to a narration - leave out ALL the dialogue and "character" development.


    What was most disappointing about Christopher Priest’s story?

    The story is never given a chance, I think that there is a really good story in there trying to get out. Every time we start to get into the story . . . .wham. More wooden dialogue and really really plastic people.


    What aspect of John Banks’s performance might you have changed?

    Overall he has promise. Just a little overdone - it was good to change style for different time frames but sometimes it sounded like Jeeves and Wooster. And the Polish girl . . . argh! 'Elo 'elo it's was all I could do to stop myself turning off. What a show of willpower! It stopped being funny and became painful. Worse because, really totally unnecessary and unwanted in the story. Big sigh of relief when we get back to straight narrative, very good expression.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Adjacent?

    Get rid of all the "carved from ebony" dialogue. It was really awful. This is a strange and interesting tale and while one often needs to suspend belief in many a good tale it is important to be able to believe in the characters. Characterization was very forced and produced unrealistic people who detracted rather than adding. They were really annoying!


    Any additional comments?

    Ok, so I haven't finished this book yet. I will persevere, maybe. It is reflection of the book that I have felt like writing a review before finishing it. It is a long book and . . . . .chapter 10 from 40 . . . . .oh, do I have to finish it? I will try, there is something in there that may be good but do I have the patience to sort the jumble out. Did I say it was very jumbled?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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