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Publisher's Summary

Prepare to lose yourself in the heady, mythical expanse of The Vorrh.

In B. Catling's twisting, poetic narrative, Bakelite robots lie broken - their hard shells cracked by human desire - and an inquisitive Cyclops waits for his keeper and guardian, growing in all directions.

Beyond the colonial city of Essenwald lies The Vorrh, the forest which sucks souls and wipes minds. There, a writer heads out on a giddy mission to experience otherness, fallen angels observe humanity from afar, and two hunters - one carrying a bow carved from his lover, the other a charmed Lee-Enfield rifle - fight to the end.

Thousands of miles away, famed photographer Eadweard Muybridge attempts to capture the ultimate truth, as rifle heiress Sarah Winchester erects a house to protect her from the spirits of her gun's victims.

In the tradition of China Miéville, Michael Moorcock and Alasdair Gray, B. Catling's The Vorrh is literary dark fantasy which wilfully ignores boundaries, crossing over into surrealism, magic-realism, horror and steampunk.

©2015 Brian Catling (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic Reviews

"There are not many books that rearrange the molecules of your being, turning your eyes inside out. The Vorrh, this saturnine post-traumatic testament, is one of them. A work of genius." (Iain Sinclair)
"Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts, it makes me realize how little imagination I have." (Terry Gilliam)
"In Brian Catling's phosphorescent masterpiece The Vorrh we have one of the most original and stunning works of fantasy that has ever been my privilege to read, a brilliant and sustained piece of invention which establishes a benchmark not just for imaginative writing but for the human imagination in itself. After investigating other worlds of fantasy, The Vorrh is like a first experience of the ocean. Read this book, and marvel." (Alan Moore)
"When even the warts of a novel are winning, it s hard to misunderstand that you have something special on your hands, and The Vorrh is absolutely that. Equal parts dark fantasy and surrealist dream, it is inescapably dense, and unrelentingly intense. Shelve it shoulder to shoulder with 2012s other most notable novels, be they of the genre or not, then consider carefully which stands lacking in comparison." (Tor.com)

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What listeners say about The Vorrh

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  • Dr
  • 01-10-16

Not for the faint-hearted

This is a fantastic audiobook. Alan corduner's performance is impressive, the musical interludes complement the novel's atmosphere, andd Alan Moore's afterword sets Catling's work in literary and artistic contexts that help the reader make sense of their encounter with the novel. Let the buyer beware: explicit content abounds here, weird sex and graphic violence. Don't buy this book if you're of a squeamish disposition, but if you're not perturbed by all things weird, go buy and read it immediately. You won't regret it!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 04-27-18

A truly singular piece of fantasy

This book blew me away. I love fantasy, and this is a fantasy book, but it pays no attention to what a fantasy book "should" be like. It is visceral, psychadelic, a mix of very human, very real emotions, and the jarring unfathomable vorrh. My only warning is this book does not gather pace in building a world, it really takes it's time to flesh everything out. It's a book that demands your attention, if your mind wanders you will miss important details. Give yourself some time and really read/listen to it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lena
  • 07-09-15

Deeply distressing

The imagery and concepts were grotesque and I felt deep revulsion and upset. The narrator , albeit good, seemed to be enjoying the content a little too much for my taste. I wish audible could remove this title.from my cloud forever.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ingridula
  • 12-29-15

Strange

The way this story has been read is excellent. Some of the content is beautiful and touchingly written whilst some of it is, what I can only call, base! Other parts are ordinary or confusing, leaving me feeling like this piece has been written by several different people. It is a fantasy of course, so perhaps that's ok, who knows!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Nick Ashford
  • 10-22-16

Try it.. you might like it!

I don't write reviews normally unless compelled to, and the Vorrh has succeeded in compelling me to!

I gave the story 4 stars only because I finished the book with as many questions as I started. But maybe that's a good thing? Be prepared for an epic story of imagining and scope and completely original. For that reason alone it's worth a credit! Don't be put off by the nay sayers on here, I'm sure the Vorrh won't be to everyones taste but it's worth a listen.. I mean that! If you like tales of the wierd, the paranormal, a touch of fantasy, and a dash of steampunk, you'll be in the right frame of mind to listen to the Vorrh. Safe journey!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew Jones
  • 03-19-17

A book unlike any other.

A book unlike any other, the Vorrh is a staggering achievement. Horrific at times, beautiful at others, but always utterly intriguing and enigmatic. The tapestries that Catling can weave with words are magnificent and completely tangible, having a presence and solidity that is both entirely surreal and yet completely believable.

I cannot recommend this highly enough.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew Young
  • 06-10-21

Nothing like this

This book should be required reading for all fantasy enthusiasts. Immediately original, but feels like it’s existed forever.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miss R S Harte
  • 07-31-17

The most incredible use of language.

What an incredible book. Language is used to describe in way I have never encountered - like the author sees things in a different way. He creates images through words in a marvellous way. A totally captivating book.

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  • claresuttle
  • 09-04-22

Confusing, dense but fascinating

I found this book tricky to get into at first. The characters, the locations and the story was hard to keep straight in my head - I resorted to creating a spider diagram to remind myself of names and relative narratives. But, as I got more into it, things became clearer and i found myself fascinated. I am about to begin the second book in the trilogy and am hoping it will be as intriguing as this one. It's not like anything else I have read and as such feels challenging, but I recommend you to persevere with it.

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  • m. berry
  • 05-16-22

Meandering

The story developed at a glacial pace. By the time it had gained some momentum I had forgotten how everyone was connected.

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  • Kristin
  • 09-14-18

Descriptive but Flawed

Good Performance by the reader. The story itself is unsettling, with a sense use of descriptive language to enhance a creepy use of imagery. However, this book is presented through a heavy colonialist, often racist lense, that makes it deeply uncomfortable and difficult to enjoy. very few of the characters are likable or even relatable. I won't read the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • the_ms_riss
  • 09-11-20

Very Unusual

the storyline was very strange but in a way that made you want to hear more so that you could try to understand what was going on.