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Ghost Milk: Calling Time On The Grand Project Hardcover – International Edition, August 23, 2011

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Ghost Milk reads like a meld of poet Allen Ginsberg, comic books writer Alan Moore and an anarchists' message board ... There is no doubt that Sinclair is original, observant, a wonderful phrase maker Evening Standard A wise, irascible sentinel: a guardian seeking to protect London's true soul from profiteering interventions by redevelopers and "regenerators" ... Uncomfortable, sharp and amusing ... Grippingly atmospheric ... Fascinating ... One of our most dazzling prose stylists Daily Telegraph Dazzling prose ... his language is always heightened ... Sinclair's explorations by foot are highly engaging and anything but pedestrian Sunday Telegraph A scorching 400-page diatribe against this and other "grand projects" ... [Sinclair is] a crazily knowledgeable local historian with a shaman's grasp of strange energies, unseen ley lines, urban esoterica Independent Magazine

About the Author

Iain Sinclair was born in Cardiff in 1943. He is the author of numerous works of fiction, poetry non-fiction, including Lud Heat; White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings; Downriver; Radon Daughters; Lights Out for the Territory; Rodinsky's Room, with Rachel Lichtenstein; Landor's Tower; London Orbital; Dining On Stones; Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire and Ghost Milk; American Smoke and London Overground. Downriver won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award. He lives in Hackney, east London.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton; 1St Edition edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241144353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241144350
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,095,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Mr. J. M. Haines on April 2, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
I am sorry really that I can only give this two stars. Overall, and 'overall' is to be very much taken as the operative word here, I mildly enjoyed it for want of a better phrase, but the book is riddled with uneven parallels, plus, it (the book) doesn't quite know what it is all about. Is it a memoir? Not entirely. Is it opinion on failed big projects? Here and there, yes, but not as much as the blurb suggests. There are also travel tales, anecdotes on other literary and arty worthies, whether in modern times involving the author, or historical.

All in all, it is quite simply, all over the place, literally and figuratively.

There is also the problem of delivery style, it is not constant. Some of the tale is about actual people, events, times, places etc, told in a simple straightforward manner. These are, just about, for me, the book's saving graces; I have to say I enjoyed these micro yarns. But, quite often the author drifts into a stuttery beat-poety style, waxing lyrical as if to save his life. Now, I ain't no Philistine, that is for sure, but for much of the arty-farty sections, I did not have a damned clue what the author was prattling on about, what he was trying to say. This was the spoiler. If he'd have kept it straight (at what point in Athens did the actual dogs become dog-like locals? for example), then it would have been much much better.

Shame. The bloke's obviously a great writer, you can glean that much, but his writing skills here were obviously on a fortnight's holiday in Rhyl, in early February.

Now if Bill Bryson had tackled the same subject matter . . .
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