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City of Saints and Madmen (Ambergris)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | City of Saints and Madmen (Ambergris).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Jeff VanderMeer(Author)

    Book details


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)

4.4 (7701)
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Book details

  • PDF | 704 pages
  • Jeff VanderMeer(Author)
  • Tor; New Edition edition (8 May 2014)
  • English
  • 2
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Review Text

  • By Annabelle Lim on 19 August 2006

    Having been a fan of the PC adventure-fantasy game Zork in the 90s, reading Vandermeer's wonderfully bizarre book brings back memories. Memories of a strange world where magic lurks round the corner, of insanity, murder, weird fetishes. A world that's so fantastic, yet so believable.Vandermeer has written a book that I wish I could have written myself, I'm so jealous! He's created an entire mythos surrounding squid and mushrooms, psychedelic! This paperback edition is a compilation of several of Vandermeer's other works, but it works beautifully on several levels. There's just so much to take in - different fonts, different perspectives, different formats of writing, strange illustrations, appendices, indexes, it's mind-boggling. Not to mention thoroughly entertaining and stupendous reading. EXCELLENT! Highly recommended, whether you are a fan of post-modern science fiction/fantasy or not.

  • By Guest on 24 March 2005

    On the surface, City of Saints and Madmen is a collection of short stories set in the fantastic city of Ambergris, stories suffused with sorrow and wry humour, some of them straightforward, others told through various metafictional conceits and devices. On the surface, we have four novellas and an appendix of sundry shorter delights. But apart from the fact that each story is an absolute nugget in its own right, there's much more going on here in the way these tales relate to each other. As the novellas progress, various fake historical glossaries, academic footnotes and art history interpolations are used to make Ambergris far more rounded and real than most fantasy backdrops, building VanderMeer's city of musicians, poets and sinister mushroom-dwellers in the reader's imagination until in the last of the four novellas we are taken right through the looking glass. In an insanely ambitious move reminiscent of Alasdair Gray's Lanark, or a writer such as Borges, fact and fiction are flipped inside-out and the reader is plunged deep into a world all the truer because it is given to us through the artefacts of Ambergris --illustrated chapbooks, monograms, bibliographies, magazine clippings or lunatic's notes. Metafiction can be tricky in its tricksiness, but VanderMeer pulls it off wonderfully. In a way this becomes a novel with the reader himself as the protagonist, a traveller wandering through VanderMeer's strange, dark, literary vision. And, lit with flashes of sheer brilliance, VanderMeer's Ambergris is more than just worth a visit. This is a must-read book, a delightful treat for the fan of fantasy as a genre, for those who enjoy Angela Carter, Gabriel Garcia Marquez or any of the Magic Realists. In the end this book is for anyone who likes their books intelligent, playful, comic, tragic and with a vision just a wee bit skewed from the norm.

  • By Richard Hutchinson on 8 April 2004

    Come and see a city, one like no other, filled with more madmen than saints.You'll find no farmboys possesing magic talents here, no buff warriors or mighty sorcerors... instead the beautiful yet darkly secretive Ambergris is populated by out-of-work missionaries, struggling artists, unhinged marinebiologists (and at least one slightly unhinged author) and other still more curious individuals. Each is led into the darkest corners of both the city and the human consciousness, and every tale is woven through with the silent question that no Ambergrisian can answer - the darkest of all the city's secrets.Not only does VanderMeer present his readers with finely crafted, delicately sculpted prose on every turning page but as the readers are propelled into appendices and glossaries, footnotes, bibliographies they are continuously rewarded with the most imaginative and most fully-realised fiction being written today.It may also be the most beautifully presented artifact of fiction you could hope to possess - painstakingly designed from cover to cover, filled with illustrations and diagrams, each designed to draw the reader further down the rabbit hole.By turns darkly horrific, emotionally charged and hilariously comic, City of Saints and Madmen is a wonderfully clever, crazed and adventurous collection of experiences you cannot miss out on.


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