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The Land Across Hardcover – November 26, 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 50 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. An expedition to write a travel guide lands an American in a nightmare of mystery, espionage, and the supernatural. Grafton, arrested on arrival in an unnamed Eastern European country, is assigned to the custody of a private family. This leads to his involvement in a treasure hunt and a relationship with his married jailer, Martya, with cryptic encounters along the way. Then Grafton is kidnapped by a dissident group, the Legion of the Light, which wants him to make radio broadcasts in English. This involves him in a struggle between the secret police (JAKA), and the Satanist group the Unholy Way. Grafton is glad to meet another American, magical adept Russ Rathaus, but Rathaus's escape from imprisonment leaves unclear who is pursuing whom, and the disappearance of Martya requires Grafton to figure out what the sides are so he can choose one. Wolfe evokes Kafka, Bradbury, and The Twilight Zone in combining the implausible, creepy, and culturally alien to create a world where every action is motivated by its own internal logic, driving the story forward through the unexplored and incomprehensible. (Dec.)

From Booklist

Master fantasist Wolfe feeds into every tourist’s worst fears in this cleverly constructed travelogue though a country figuratively accessed through a looking glass. When an American travel writer, Grafton, sets out to document his experiences traversing a small, exceedingly obscure Eastern European country (the land across the mountains), he winds up in a nightmarish predicament from which there appears to be no escape. After his passport is confiscated, he is taken into the custody of a mysterious couple. Virtually imprisoned, he becomes a pawn in an elaborate game that includes a treasure hunt, a kidnapping, and a bevy of supernatural forces. A timely political message is wrapped up in this appropriately satirical and surreal parody. --Margaret Flanagan

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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
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Top international reviews

Robin
5.0 out of 5 stars There Are Clues
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2015
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J. Van Der Sijp
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it slow, let it work on the brain
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 2, 2015
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James
4.0 out of 5 stars Very odd but entertaining
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2019
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not his best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 26, 2018
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John Davidson
4.0 out of 5 stars Even Wolfe's later and secondary world are worth reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 6, 2019
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4.0 out of 5 stars SF Genie Still Going Strong
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Reviewed in India on December 29, 2016
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