Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Filaria has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very good condition book with only light signs of previous use. Sail the Seas of Value.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Filaria Paperback – October 15, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$39.00
Paperback
"Please retry"
$18.95
$11.31 $2.24

Book friends forever
The Last Star
Spontaneous
Mosquitoland
$18.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Hayward's debut is a powerful, beautifully-written dystopian tale concerning four inhabitants of a gigantic but dying artificial habitat. Young Phister has lived his entire life on the radioactive lowest level, until he sets off in pursuit of a friend, and soon becomes lost among endless passageways. Ancient Mereziah, who's devoted his life to servicing the habitat's elevators, decides to hitch a ride on the outside of one of them, hoping to rise to the fabled top of the world before he dies. Tran so Phengh, a fisherman plying his trade on a polluted and retreating lake deep within the artificial world, leaves his dying wife and sets off on a quest to ask important questions of the Gods. Deidre, a pampered young girl who lives on the beautiful pastoral level at the top of the habitat, is wrenched away from her family by monstrous angels. Eventually, each learns some small part of the secret behind their claustrophobic artificial world and its impending collapse, though the tale ends abruptly, with no real resolution and little hope. With well-developed characters and four strong plotlines told through alternating chapters, Hayward delivers a fulfilling read.

Review

Filaria is a double debut: the first book to be published by the new macabre fiction imprint ChiZine Publications (an offshoot of the Chiaroscuro website run by Toronto author Brett Savory), as well as the first novel by Toronto writer Brent Hayward. The story's framework borrows from a pair of science-fiction conventions a future society with a rigid system of social stratification, run entirely by machines. Beneath a dead planet a sort of human ant colony has been set up by a legendary engineer. The colony consists of 32 levels each a city in itself connected by an advanced elevator/transit system. At the top, Level One, the beautiful people live on plantations. At the bottom, sickly ghouls labour as garbage collectors and sewer workers. At the beginning of the novel, the network that runs this claustrophobic system has broken down. Chaos ensues. What s more, an alien force seems to have invaded the subterranean biosphere, motives unknown. The narrative has four parallel threads that never actually meet but are each indirectly related. A young Morlock from the 32nd floor is chased upward, pursuing an unlikely destiny. A privileged plantation princess climbs to the edge of the known world and beyond. A centenarian lift attendant begins his last ascent. And a troubled family man finds himself drifting to the lower depths, seeking some kind of primary energy source. Much of the story remains a little vague, and is made more so by Hayward's technique of eliding crucial plot points, but this also leads us to sympathize with the characters confusion in their newly out-of-joint and de-compartmentalized world, and emphasizes the story's prominent (but not restrictive) allegorical qualities. First and foremost, however, Filaria is a great read, crackling with invention, energy, and suspense. For both ChiZine and Hayward, it's an auspicious start. -----Alex Good, Quill & Quire
A disquieting, claustrophobic, compelling hybrid of China Mieville and J. G. Ballard. I first read FILARIA almost two years ago: its subterranean imagery has been stuck in my midbrain ever since. -----Peter Watts, author of STARFISH and BLINDSIGHT
Hayward's debut is a powerful, beautifully-written dystopian tale concerning four inhabitants of a gigantic but dying artificial habitat. Young Phister has lived his entire life on the radioactive lowest level, until he sets off in pursuit of a friend, and soon becomes lost among endless passageways. Ancient Mereziah, who's devoted his life to servicing the habitat's elevators, decides to hitch a ride on the outside of one of them, hoping to rise to the fabled top of the world before he dies. Tran so Phengh, a fisherman plying his trade on a polluted and retreating lake deep within the artificial world, leaves his dying wife and sets off on a quest to ask important questions of the Gods. Deidre, a pampered young girl who lives on the beautiful pastoral level at the top of the habitat, is wrenched away from her family by monstrous angels. Eventually, each learns some small part of the secret behind their claustrophobic artificial world and its impending collapse, though the tale ends abruptly, with no real resolution and little hope. With well-developed characters and four strong plotlines told through alternating chapters, Hayward delivers a fulfilling read. (STARRED REVIEW) --- --Publishers Weekly

A disquieting, claustrophobic, compelling hybrid of China Mieville and J. G. Ballard. I first read FILARIA almost two years ago: its subterranean imagery has been stuck in my midbrain ever since. -----Peter Watts, author of STARFISH and BLINDSIGHT

Hayward's debut is a powerful, beautifully-written dystopian tale concerning four inhabitants of a gigantic but dying artificial habitat. Young Phister has lived his entire life on the radioactive lowest level, until he sets off in pursuit of a friend, and soon becomes lost among endless passageways. Ancient Mereziah, who's devoted his life to servicing the habitat's elevators, decides to hitch a ride on the outside of one of them, hoping to rise to the fabled top of the world before he dies. Tran so Phengh, a fisherman plying his trade on a polluted and retreating lake deep within the artificial world, leaves his dying wife and sets off on a quest to ask important questions of the Gods. Deidre, a pampered young girl who lives on the beautiful pastoral level at the top of the habitat, is wrenched away from her family by monstrous angels. Eventually, each learns some small part of the secret behind their claustrophobic artificial world and its impending collapse, though the tale ends abruptly, with no real resolution and little hope. With well-developed characters and four strong plotlines told through alternating chapters, Hayward delivers a fulfilling read. (STARRED REVIEW) -----Publishers Weekly
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: ChiZine Publications; First edition (October 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980941016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980941012
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,896,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
60%
4 star
40%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 5 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Filaria is, in its conciseness and its oddly disturbing grace, one of the finest debuts written in the last decade -- in the sff genre or any other genre. For a fast reader, it could be consumed in nearly a breath, but this would be to miss the point entirely. This is a book meant to be examined, to be known.

What strikes me as so unique is how Hayward manages to build such a intensely resonant world in so few words. You will not forget having been in this book. Images, perhaps even whole scenes if you're visually minded, will stick with you for the remainder of your life.

Here, because it might illustrate what I'm trying (and probably failing) to say, is something I said about Filaria in an interview:

"There is a scene in it where two ancient elevator-repairmen brothers are hanging in a massive (and malfunctioning) elevator shaft--or rather, have been hanging in a massive elevator shaft their entire lives. This may seems a somewhat mundane scenario when compared to interstellar wars and such, but there is for me this moment of consideration: what must life be like, hanging in silence and darkness for most of your life, waiting on... what? An elevator car that will never come? It's frightening to consider, and yet in its way it is also beautiful in an immensely sad way. It's almost like considering death, that great unknown."

Anyway, you should buy it, because it's great.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an intriguing puzzle-box of a read. The setting is an impossibility taken seriously: a resort hotel so large that the denizens believe it's the entire world. It's visualized so well, the characters drawn so intricately, that you can't help believe it. Every character adds their own thread to the story, illuminating the reader even while the characters grow more confused and desperate.

I'll reread this one.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

When I started out with this novel, I thought the description sounded to my liking, but after getting in about 30 pages through, I wasn't so sure. I am one for sci-fi and fantasy, but the world seemed so absurd...almost to the point of ridiculousness. But after I got to about page 50, I realized I was no longer wondering, "Should I continue reading this?" because I was actually getting into it...and liking it!

The first thing I noticed was how high the diction was. A lot of the words are archaic, adding to the tone of the book. Some of the words are just weird. And some of the words are made up. Everything you could ask for in a sci-fi novel! The grammar was impeccable, and I absolutely love this writer's style. Even though I'm not typically interested in description pertaining to environment or place, it's almost impossible to understand sci-fi without understanding the world the characters are living in (or in this case, worlds?) A lot of the metaphors also caught me off guard, but in a good way. Most were so original that I literally had to sit there in a silence for a few moments to completely absorb what I had just read.

Humor was integrated well into the stories, as well as sadness, and a feeling of nostalgia (at least, for me). My favorite character was "Tran so." Saying that, however, one of the only complaints I had with this novel was the added sexuality. I typically embrace sexuality when sexuality is due, but in this novel it just felt out of place and awkward, especially when I started looking up to Tran so as a sort of father-like figure.

The only other complaint I would say I had with this book was that I didn't really like that we had to keep up with four different characters.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A complex, intricately woven (or should I say tiered?) little book, Filaria divulges its most important secrets in bits and pieces, usually secondhand to a character who is unaware of its import. For instance -- this isn't too big of a spoiler -- the lust that seizes all the male characters is revealed as a pheromone experiment mentioned in the first quarter of the book, aimed at Deidre, but outed to Phister. The four central characters never meet each other, but cross paths with mutual acquaintances who provide new revelations at every step.

In addition, the level of detail is subtle and exquisite, often provided in succinct fragments. For instance:

"Retired pods embedded deep in the curved walls. Dusty mesh strung between glistening tracks. Loops and untold lengths of entwined tubes. Endless tubes. Hundreds of sizes, gurgling and trickling and burping quietly, up and down the great shaft."

The first scene, with Phister, is particularly well done -- he belongs to a ex-Public Works clan living in the very basement of the world, unaware of any other levels (or the existence of people with hair and teeth; the radioactive sewage in the basement makes theirs fall out). Through him, we also see only the basement, so his expanding world becomes ours as well.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
FILARIA will worm its way into every section of your brain like a tiny parasite that sneaks in and slowly awakens and fires up your neurons.

The world is a mere shell of what it used to be, littered with remnants, populated by a ragtag bunch existing on multiple levels. Each subset of this fractured world is largely ignorant of the others, with minds full of myths and scuttlebutt.

Brent Hayward shines a spotlight on four people, the narrative lens closing in on the minutiae of their lives as if the larger world where they existed was irrelevant to their respective tales. But there are hints that if you pull the lens far enough back, you will see that world and how they each fit in it, that their lives are interrelated and intertwined.

Stylistically, I can't recall reading anything written in this manner before. It is superbly novel and fascinating. The structure simultaneously elucidates and mystifies, maintaining a high level of intrigue. Both the microcosmic and macrocosmic views reveal a world that is ultimately foreign-- a desolate, splintered world, de facto functioning separately and independently but simultaneously suffering for the lack of integration. The depth of the characters is matched by the intricacy of the worldbuilding.

FILARIA is a masterful blend of simplicity and complexity. There is simplicity and a linear symbolism in the imagery of a man hanging on near the bottom, always looking up at heights he so wishes to reach. There is complexity in the imagery of the same man hanging on-- to existence for its own sake, to a sense of duty, to a hope that he knows is ultimately futile.

Hayward prodigiously strings words together. Even when he describes a bleak landscape or a hopeless situation, it is nonetheless exquisite.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Filaria
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Filaria