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The Adjacent Kindle Edition
|Length: 429 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The events in Tibor's life have ramifications across the years. During WWI a stage magician is sent to the Western Front to help make British reconnaissance aircraft invisible to the enemy and has a chance meeting with one of the most famous writers alive. During WWII a young RAF technician meets a female Polish pilot and learns of her desperate desire to return home and be reunited with her missing lover. And in the English countryside of the near future, a scientist creates the first adjacency, and transforms the world.
Reviewing a Christopher Priest novel is like trying to take a photograph of a car speeding past you at 100mph without any warning. You are, at the very best, only going to capture an indistinct and vague image of what the object is. Photography, perspective and points of view play a major role in Priest's latest novel, as do some of his more familiar subjects: stage magic, WWII aircraft and the bizarre world of the Dream Archipelago. The Adjacent is a mix of the familiar and the strange, the real and the unreal, the lucid and the dreamlike. It's the novel as a puzzle, as so many of Priest's books are, except that Priest hasn't necessarily given you all the pieces to the same puzzle.Read more ›
I give author Christopher Priest two stars for his creativity in trying to weave a tale concerning a quantum universe where time and place may be parallel or time shifted among real and unreal worlds. His placement of one storyline into the Islamic Republic of Great Britain was clever.
Some other reviewers have described his writing and attention to detail as brilliant, but I found it tedious. While we are treated to detailed descriptions of some aspects of war and airplanes, his characters are poorly fleshed out and seem almost cardboard. I understand the alliteration of names and similarity of occupations to nudge us to understand the connectedness of the parallel characters. The female characters, especially in expressing their sexual needs, are almost utilitarian. Some chapters of the story are overly long without apparent purpose except to fill out the book, as much of the material in them doesn't really add to the storyline. The ending is abrupt and unsatisfying, although predictable.
I've been reading science fiction/fantasy for decades and always enjoy original thought, layered plot construction, and character development. I just found The Adjacent to have an interesting premise that was not well developed or written.
When The Adjacent was announced I decided to rectify that state affairs… and then nearly didn’t when I read the closing paragraph to Niall Alexander’s positive review of the book on Strange Horizons:
"Reading The Adjacent is like taking a grand tour of the larger canon Christopher Priest has established over the course of his forty-year career, so no, newcomers need not apply, but old hands are apt to find it massively satisfying."
Newcomers need not apply…
Now that I’ve finished the novel I can appreciate where Niall is coming from. Even with my limited knowledge of Priest’s oeuvre, there’s a feeling that this book is a continuation of a bar conversation that Priest has begun elsewhere. Not in specific plot details, but in the recycling of elements that Priest has always been fascinated with – magicians, aeroplanes, H.G Wells, and archipelagos that exist somewhere to the left of our reality.
I’m sure if you’re aware of all the bits and pieces that reflect and echo previous novels you’ll have more fun with The Adjacent. That’s certainly the impression I get from Niall’s review.Read more ›
Christopher Priest zeroes in on that idea in The Adjacent through the eyes of a central cast of characters in three different storylines. One story is set in a dystopian future where climate change has left the world dealing with deadlands and superstorms on a regular basis; another story is set in WWI, and the other is set in WWII. Each storyline has a central character with similar names: Trent, Tarent, and Torrance. Are these men the same person? Probably. It isn't really explained. But there is slow, IV drip of clues and hints that leaves you feeling strangely unsettled. "Where have I seen this person before?" I kept asking. The Adjacent is a thrilling, maddening read.
What ties the three storylines together is the motif of the triangle. What a symbol! Think of the triangle's form and you have the central structure of the book. The three storylines; the three sides of the geometric form that never meet except at their 'adjacencies.' The book will leave your mind reeling as you try to make sense of the three stories.
The most compelling storyline for me is the one that takes place in the near future. There is a terrorist group on the loose that uses a weapon, an IED, of spectacular destruction. It leaves behind a mark, a triangle. This motif gets echoed throughout the book.
Back in another storyline, we meet the scientist who supposedly came up with the quantum theory that eventually led to the technology that made the bomb possible. It was never meant to be a bomb, but a defensive shield of some kind. (Boy, did they not expect that blowback.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While parts of this book were quite compelling, other parts dragged. I found the ending quite unsatisfying. Maybe I missed the point? Or maybe there really wasn't one.Published 4 days ago by Jonathan Coburn
Priest is not a summarizer - this is the first novel I remember skimming.Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
really really boring. I was looking forward for some interesting twist at the end. Unfortunately it ended just like it started. Boring.Published 28 days ago by Bohumir Suchomel
Has promise at times but fails to live up to any of it at all in any way. Wasted time.Published 1 month ago by Markisgreen
Very similar to The Islanders in most respects although definitely more character focused and slightly less experimental. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Douglas Larry Booze
Absolutely fantastic, as all of Priests books are. The sort of book to reread as soon as you get to the last page.Published 3 months ago by susan
Hauntingly odd, sometimes feeling like a slightly skipping record, but one that changes with each jump of the needle, changing by the very act of observation.Published 4 months ago by Seva B.
This was probably at least a three-star by about mid-way into the book. Given the premise from the inside cover, a few different stories in different times, a weapon and a war in... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Edgar
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