Jeff vandermeer city of saints and madmen

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jeff vandermeer city of saints and madmen

City of Saints and Madmen (Ambergris, #1) by Jeff VanderMeer

In City of Saints and Madmen, Jeff VanderMeer has reinvented the literature of the fantastic. You hold in your hands an invitation to a place unlike any you’ve ever visited–an invitation delivered by one of our most audacious and astonishing literary magicians.

City of elegance and squalor. Of religious fervor and wanton lusts. And everywhere, on the walls of courtyards and churches, an incandescent fungus of mysterious and ominous origin. In Ambergris, a would-be suitor discovers that a sunlit street can become a killing ground in the blink of an eye. An artist receives an invitation to a beheading–and finds himself enchanted. And a patient in a mental institution is convinced he’s made up a city called Ambergris, imagined its every last detail, and that he’s really from a place called Chicago.…

By turns sensuous and terrifying, filled with exotica and eroticism, this interwoven collection of stories, histories, and “eyewitness” reports invokes a universe within a puzzlebox where you can lose–and find–yourself again.
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Published 24.12.2018

#5 Borne - Book Review

City of Saints and Madmen

If, as has often been argued, the novella is the perfect length for speculative fiction, then City of Saints and Madmen is potentially the perfect book: four novellas, including the World Fantasy Award-winning "The Transformation of Martin Lake", by one of the most consistently elegant and interesting of current practitioners. But, just to complicate matters, it should be pointed out that this is actually two books: the Cosmos trade paperback is, indeed, a fine example of speculative fiction close to its best; the Prime hardback edition, though, is twice the length, crammed with a wide range of additional material. The Cosmos edition, has already started to appear on the lists of best collections of ; the Prime edition will certainly repeat that, as one of the best of I don't think there's a page edition planned for Jeff VanderMeer is a writer I admire immensely, even if he's not always a writer I wholeheartedly enjoy. In a publishing age where it can be so easy for a writer of talent to make the safe commercial bets -- or, more accurately, to avoid the greatest commercial risks -- those individuals who doggedly plough their own furrows should be cherished. And VanderMeer's furrow is quite unlike anyone else's.

A master of postmodern game playing, VanderMeer The Exchange here gathers all the fiction published in his earlier trade paper collection also titled, in a typically Borgesian maneuver, City of Saints and Madmen , plus an equal amount of new material. Set in the haunted city of Ambergris, with its Borges Bookstore, these stories feature bizarre recurring characters and intensely self-referential plots. Among the highlights are the World Fantasy Award—winning "Transformation of Martin Lake," the tale of a talented painter who's obsessed with a great composer; "The Strange Case of X," which concerns an incarcerated lunatic found wandering the streets of Ambergris carrying the very book being discussed in this review; the wonderful new story "The Cage," in which an antiques dealer becomes infected with a fungus that's slowly taking over much of the city; and, oddest of all perhaps, an untitled short story, which fills the entire dust jacket and concerns an unnamed traveler who has a close encounter with a giant squid in the river that runs through Ambergris. Other pieces take many forms, including a history of the city complete with footnotes, psychiatric records from a local hospital, an amazingly funny work of pseudo-biology entitled "King Squid" and entirely bogus bibliographies and glossaries. This beautifully written, virtually hallucinatory work isn't for every taste, but connoisseurs of the finest in postmodern fantasy will find it enormously rewarding. Forecast: Recently named by Locus On-Line as one of the 10 best short-story writers in the field, VanderMeer has avoided doing the kind of thing the big, increasingly commercial houses are willing to take on. Serious review attention could break him out—though it will take a novel that makes some concessions to the marketplace to lure a major publisher.

The setting was further explored in the novels Shriek: An Afterword and Finch The stories of City of Saints and Madmen are set in Ambergris, an urban sprawl named for " the most secret and valued part of the whale " and populated by humans after its original inhabitants—a race of mushroom -like humanoids known as "gray caps"—were violently driven underground. These creatures, though removed from the eccentricities of daily life in Ambergris, continue to cast a shadow over the city with their unexplained nocturnal activities. Ambergris began in with "Learning to Leave the Flesh", a short story conceived for the Clarion writers' workshop at Michigan State University. Although it does not reference the city directly, it mentions locations that would reappear in later work, such as Albumuth Boulevard and the River Moth. Considered a "proto-Ambergris story" by the author, "Learning to Leave the Flesh" wouldn't be included in the book until its edition. It contained four novella-length pieces:.

City of Saints and Madmen: The Book of Ambergris is a collection of fantasy short stories by American writer Jeff VanderMeer, set in the fictional metropolis of.
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