- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager (June 11, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062672495
- ISBN-13: 978-0062672490
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Grand Dark Hardcover – June 11, 2019
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“Kadrey has written for us a beautiful nightmare — one that’s often eerily familiar — showing a theatrical world set on the edge of war, and losing itself in the shadows of brutality and oppression.” (Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers)
“The Grand Dark is a miracle of the old and the new: a tale of weimar decadence that is also a parable for our New Gilded Age [...] It’s a fun and terrifying ride, gritty and relentless, burning with true love and revolutionary fervor.” (Cory Doctorow, author of Radicalized and Walkaway)
“Wildly ambitious and inventive fantasy from an author who’s punching above his weight in terms of worldbuilding—and winning.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Stunning. The hard, spare, considered voice that’s driven Kadrey’s gonzo supernatural noir has been honed to a deft Kafka-esque edge. Unsettling and dreamlike, seductive and bleak, the jaws of The Grand Dark gape to devour you.” (Max Gladstone, author of Empress of Forever)
“The Grand Dark is more than just another reliably strong outing from a veteran writer. It’s the work of a major science fiction/fantasy creator going way out in a limb in the effort to wholly redefine himself, all while crystallizing what’s made him great.” (NPR)
“Artisanal gene mod and robots and coal dust and a big middle finger to the oligarchs, plus bicycles!” (New York Times bestselling author Kevin Hearne)
“[For] readers who like morally complex characters and enjoy their fantasy on the dark side.” (Booklist)
“The novel feels almost China Mieville-esque in its tone and themes.” (Seattle Book Review)
“The Grand Dark is a thematic buffet. Wealth, addiction, and censorship are only a few of its social and political layers. Foremost among its concerns are mankind’s relationship to technology, the treatment of veterans, and how a society handles its ‘undesirables.’” (ZYZZYVA)
“A constant underlying tension makes the city’s powder-keg agitation visceral, and the individual neighborhoods and their residents are well wrought.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
From the bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series, a lush, dark, stand-alone fantasy built on the insurgent tradition of China Miéville and M. John Harrison—a subversive tale that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos
The Great War is over. The city of Lower Proszawa celebrates the peace with a decadence and carefree spirit as intense as the war’s horrifying despair. But this newfound hedonism—drugs, sex, and endless parties—distracts from the strange realities of everyday life: intelligent automata taking jobs; genetically engineered creatures that serve as pets and beasts of war; a theater where gruesome murders happen twice a day; and a new plague that even the ceaseless euphoria can’t mask.
Unlike others who live strictly for fun, Largo is an addict with ambitions. A bike messenger who grew up in the slums, he knows the city’s back alleys and secrets intimately. His life seems set. He has a beautiful girlfriend, drugs, a chance at a promotion—and maybe an opportunity for complete transformation: a contact among the elite who can set him on the course to lift himself out of the streets.
But dreams can be dangerous in a city whose mood is turning dark and inward. Others have a vision of life very different from Largo’s, and they will use any method to secure control. And behind it all, beyond the frivolity and chaos, the threat of new war always looms.
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The setting is fascinating. Everything is sooty and dirty. Automatons called Maras are taking over people’s jobs. Odd creatures called chimera are biologically engineered. Pretty much everyone is doing drugs in an effort to not fall into despair, and the city is suffering under the results of the last war. The plays that Remy stars in are lurid affairs of sex and murder.
I would have liked to see Remy have a little more agency in a certain set of events. There are also one or two small loose threads at the end of the story. But I really don’t have any complaints. This is an all-too-vivid story that comes to life brilliantly on the page. I had a great deal of difficulty putting this book down!
The Grand Dark is the tale of Largo, a bike courier, working in a city that has recently been at war. The city is a mystery, full of run down buildings from the war, to parties, to factories. The technology is a steampunk blend of robots and automatons. You really get the sense that it's never really sunny there but a perpetual haze. Largo is a naive messenger who happens to know his ways around the city from his very humble beginnings with his father.
The story really takes off as Largo is promoted to head courier after the other head courier goes missing mysteriously. Largo works at taking on his new duties and struggles with staying sober in a city that appears to party often. Things evolve further as Largo finds himself in different parts of the city making mysterious deliveries.
The story is interesting and it did keep me reading along. There were times where I struggled to care about Largo though as he's kind of an ordinary, weaker character trying to find his place in a chaotic city. What did keep me reading though was the fascinating blend of technology and science in the city.
I would recommend this book.
I highly recommend this book.
It is not that the MC has a pointless life...after reading this I realize the book had no point. There was resolution of a sort. Thankfully.
This goes onto the “toss it” pile. Hate I wasted money on this.
Largo is an ordinary man, not the super-powered protagonist of the Sandman Slim books. Towards the beginning of the book he’s so naive and simplistic that one wants to shake him at times, but he grows impressively and believably as he moves through the story.
The setting, Proszawa, makes a memorable character itself. It’s half the post-WW I Weimar Republic that it consciously invokes, half science-fictional, and the city - though the story avoids such simplistic allegory - stands as a cautionary tale for our present.
This is an outstanding book even in a year of outstanding fantasy and science fiction, not that I could easily class it as either of those. Take it as its own thing, but please try it.