The Islanders by

The islanders - Christopher Priest
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I find it ironic that I should be invited to write a few introductory words to this book, as I know as little about the subject as it is possible to know.
–Christopher Priest - The Islanders (Introductory - Chaster Kammeston) - c.2011

I have no idea what to say about this book. I have no idea what it is all about. But I suppose I should make some sort of an effort. The Islanders is not really a story, it is a travel guide. A guidebook to the Dream Archipelego, and of course I haven’t yet read the book of that name, so perhaps it would help with this one if I did. However at least parts of The Affirmation were set there, so I did have some little background. Most of the chapters describe an island, giving a bit of history, or information on the island’s culture & society. And every now and then there is a chapter which tells a bit of a story. They are all tied together around the possible murder of a famous mime artist, and a love story.

Or at least I think they are.

The islanders - Christopher Priest

The islanders - Christopher Priest

I have read other books by Priest and often I have been left with the impression that I didn’t quite get all that was going on, but never have I finished one and thought that I had no idea what any of it was about and why it was written in the first place.

But, and here is the thing, I still finished it. So I guess on some level it worked. I was interested enough in the early hints that I continued through to the end. I’m not entirely sure if it was worth the effort however. There are some great ideas. And I like the style of writing. But I prefer a story and characters to a travel guide with hints at a story and characters.

Punkadiddle ; Open Geography ; SF Site

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2 responses on The Islanders

  1. Hm, intriguing… After reading your post I checked out the reviews on Amazon and they said pretty much the same-ish things you did. I'm reminded a little of The Life of Pi by Yann Martel–it was twisty, confounding, and I never really was sure what was going on, but I still loved it. I'm putting this on hold at the library!

    1. It is similar in that it isn't really about the story as such, but different, in that Life of Pi at least had a story. This doesn't so much.

      But it is intriguing. And well written. The first one or two chapters are a little… I won't say boring, more like "errrr, what am I reading here".
      Twitter: ecnef

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