City of Saints and Madmen (Ambergris)
City of elegance and squalor. Of religious fervour and wanton lusts. And everywhere, on the walls of courtyards and churches, an incandescent fungus of mysterious and ominous origin. In Ambergris, a would-be suitor discovers that a sunlit street can become a killing ground in the blink of an eye. An artist receives an invitation to a beheading - and finds himself enchanted. And a patient in a mental institution is convinced he's made up a city called Ambergris, imagined its every last detail, and that he's really from a place called Chicago.
Ambergris is a cruelly beautiful metropolis -- a haven for artists and thieves, for composers and murderers. And once there, anything can happen.
City of Saints and Madmen includes the World Fantasy Award winning novella The Transformation of Martin Lake.
Unsettling, erudite, dark ... Ambergris is one of my favourite haunts in fiction (China Miéville)This is fiction to stand alongside that of Calvino and Borges (Guardian)
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