Latest Reads: The Body Library Jeff Noon.

Publication Date: 3rd April from Angry Robot

Source: Netgalley

In a city dissolving into an infected sprawl of ideas, where words come to life and reality is contaminated by stories, John Nyquist wakes up in a room with a dead body… The dead man’s impossible whispers plunge him into a murder investigation like no other. Clues point him deeper into an unfolding story infesting its participants as reality blurs between place and genre.

Only one man can hope to put it all back together into some kind of order, enough that lives can be saved… That man is Nyquist, and he is lost.

After reading the first Nvquist novel,A  Man of Shadows, I said I’d never look at time passing in the same way again. The Body Library has given me the feeling that I’ll never read a book in quite the same way again, without wondering if somewhere, in some other realm just beyond reach, things I’m reading are being affected and changed by the very fact of me reading it..

The Body Library is a surreal reading experience, this time throwing our main protagonist into a city built upon words, narratives and stories – where everyone either tells the tale or listens to it – where “narrative officers” monitor the written word and keep track of intersections, where Nvquist is writing a tale called A Man Of Shadows….

Yes it sounds quite quite mad and it absolutely is -but it is also completely, imaginatively and utterly brilliant from the opening hallucinogenic journey through an abandoned tower block to the final emotionally charged moments of resolution – this is a story that kind of doesn’t really have a beginning middle and end so much as a stream of feelings and observations – to call The Body Library immersive reading doesn’t really come close to explaining the feel of it but is probably as close as I’m going to get. The little nuances of character, the dreamlike setting, the smart little descriptive touches and the clever, rewarding  literary allusions (look at the title of the book for a start) all add to what is a novel like no other I have ever read. But I want to read more, I was sorry to leave it behind….

Still, this is noir. It really is. Noir within science fiction, within fantasy, within crime – the Nvquist novels so far break all the genre boundaries and dissolve them all into one glorious technicoloured mash up of a read. With Alphabugs…

Underneath the beautiful madness The Body Library is wittily observant, creepy and disconcerting, occasionally humorous, always on message even as it goes off on tangents and is a wonderfully hypnotic and completely mesmerizing story. I loved every single insane moment of it, just riveting. Completely riveting.

More Nvquist please.  Soon as possible.

Highly Recommended


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Happy Reading!

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