- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books (July 19, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 178565036X
- ISBN-13: 978-1785650369
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,514,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Race Paperback – July 19, 2016
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"The Race is a fantastic read that will keep you interested until the very last page. The narrative has been ingeniously crafted while having enough twists and turns to keep you guessing." - Bio Gamer Girl
“Quality writing and original ideas” - ScienceFiction.com
“A beautiful novel... gorgeous and thought provoking.” - Gamers Sphere
"Enticingly mysterious... akin to the best alternative history fiction... will keep readers fascinated for hours." Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"a brilliantly weird world that’s utterly riveting" - Kirkus Reviews
“Evocative, descriptive and emotionally resonant” - Skiffy and Fanty
“The story of four damaged people whose lives are inextricably linked, The Race is a novel of tender nuances, brutality, insight and great ambition.” - Tor.com
"The Race" is an ingenious puzzle-box of a narrative that works both as a haunting family saga and as a vivid picture of a future worth avoiding." - Chicago Tribune
"A unique and fascinating near-future ecological SF novel. Buy it!" Jeff Vandermeer, author of the Annihilation trilogy
“Totally assured – this is a literate, intelligent, gorgeously human and superbly strange SF novel that will continually skewer your assumptions.” – ALASTAIR REYNOLDS
“Nina Allan’s debut is weird in all the right ways” - Barnes & Noble
"confidently and wonderfully written" - Adventures in Poor Taste
“An unconventional, arresting meditation on memory, imagination, and the ways we attempt to cope with the trauma in our lives.” - Barnes & Noble
About the Author
Nina Allan has won the BSFA Award for Short Fiction, the prestigious Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, and the Aeon Award. She has been shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award four times and was a finalist for the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award. The Race is her first novel.
Top customer reviews
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Not really a full length novel. Rather it's four short stories, and an appendix that makes a fith. Each story is somehow related to the one in front of it, if only tangentially. And the second and third really are not SciFi at all. they border on the genre known as Urban Fantasy, but barely just.
The writing is clean, and the characters are driven. The plots ate loosely intertwined, but only as a general theme really.
The journeys are compelling and a worthwhile read, but this is more of a book to read on the bus, rather than a classic.
This novel is a hard one to categorize. The story is written in four parts with each part portraying a different perspective. All four characters are interlinked in odd ways. There is an additional epilogue that expands one character’s story.
I do know that the first part was me favourite. It dealt with greyhound racing wherein the dog is partnered with a human via a mind-link. Me second favourite was the fourth part which follows a woman who can mind-link. These were the two very sci-fi parts of the book. The other two chapters are not sci-fi but are rather very interesting character studies.
In fact, while the plots of each section were interesting, the characterizations were the highlight of the book. Ye truly get into the head of each person. Some might feel bogged down by those details and minutiae. I felt that the depth of feeling was quite lovely and even lyrical at times.
The world-building itself was fascinating. All chapters seemed to take place in a place like our world only slightly skewed. The author seemingly has an idea of alternate or mirror worlds. But were they really? I don’t know. The book certainly brought up more questions than providing answers. I feel like the first read barely scratched the surface and that it deserves a re-read after some time has passed. While certainly not for everyone, I am very glad to have read this one.
Side note: there is a rape scene in this book. Had I known I might not have read it. It did fit into the story so ultimately I finished the novel. But be forewarned.
Confusing? Not really in practice, because even the minutest detail has significance, if not at the moment, sometimes 100 pages later: unexplained terms like "Hoolish" float through the first tale without comment, pop up again with full detail in the fourth. The families and relationships in the "authored" segments reflect and expand on the life of the "author" herself, especially her scarred and fearful relationship with her brother.
The writing is quiet, almost reserved, and economical. Though in an entirely different style, something about the shifting emotional stance of the characters made me think of Virginia Woolf. And the incomprehensibility of extraterrestrial signals reminds me a little of Stanislaw Lem's His Master's Voice.This is the kind of work that grows on you as read, rising from mild puzzlement to captivation, carefully and fully constructed throughout, a tour de force that doesn't come across as a tour de force. The title, I think, refers both to the smartdog races and to the human race in its various guises.
Two aspects that bother me a bit, personally: First, there's almost no humor throughout. Sometimes the narrator <i>refers </i>to humor, but I found nothing particularly funny going on or being said. Second, the female characters, "author" and "characters" alike, are beset by the notion that anyone they meet has some dark plot afoot, which is seldom the case. But this is small stuff. Overall, The Race is one hell of a book, marvelous in construction, characters and outlook.
Most recent customer reviews
The Race, by Nina Allan, takes place in an unfathomable setting.Read more