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Landor's Towerby Iain Sinclair
Synopses & Reviews
"Like Seamus Heaney, Sinclair writes in a dense, clotted prose. You can almost feel the cold, moist clumps of dirt and smell the rich earth of his world. And like Don DeLillo, Sinclair has no qualms about stopping the novel to toss off theories, ideas, observations, and poetic word portraits of everyday activities. Influences on Sinclair include J. G. Ballard, science fiction writer Michael Moorcock, Cambridge don and poet J. H. Prynne, William Burroughs, and even P. G. Wodehouse. It all makes for an appealing stew." D. K. Holm, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Commissioned to write about a disastrous attempt to create an estate around a medieval abbey in Wales, a London writer is sidetracked by a series of bizarre suicides in the secret defense industries, and by witnesses who claim to know the truth about a decades-old murder case. He employs a burned-out media man named Kaporal to research these events, only to find himself accused of murder. Featuring 20 black-and-white illustrations, Landor's Tower is an intriguing tapestry of fiction, history, and autobiography.
"[A]s distinctive as his inimitable nonfiction, distinguished by the same vital, labyrinthine prose....Sinclair is reminiscent of Pynchon in both his encyclopedic set of references and his discomfort with the palliative function of plot." Publishers Weekly
"Sinclair mingles learned wit...revved-up sentences, tall-tale exaggeration, paranoia and keen observation...halfway between the cut-up humor of Wodehouse and the 'cut-out' technique of William Burroughs." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"Provocative ideas regarding the permeability of time can be teased out of these stories, but not without difficulty." Library Journal
"There are gems of insight, wit, and wisdom here, but unearthing them may not be worth the effort except for fans of the author and well-read Anglophiles with a high tolerance for flights of imagination and ambiguity." Booklist
"This is one of Sinclair's richest books to date, in a body of work that contains some of the most fascinating writing currently being produced." Sunday Times (London)
"[A] sense of primal vision informs the whole book, a recognition of the sheer strangeness of the ground-zero of our desire and the quiddity of our quest." Paul Green, culturecourt.com
"Iain Sinclair is a curator of crazed intentions. He flashes out extraordinary contemporary satires from an unlikely rubble of old bones." Observer
"Sinclair is an authentic visionary." Michael Moorcock
"Iain Sinclair is the most inventive novelist of his generation." Peter Ackroyd
The narrator is accused of one of the murders that Kaporal is researching. Incarcerated in an asylum on the River Usk, long suppressed memories of his childhood in Wales return to haunt him.
About the Author
Iain Sinclair is the son of a doctor. Born in South Wales, he attended Trinity College, Dublin, and has lived in London for over twenty-five years. He has worked as a labourer, a second-hand book-dealer, a lecturer and a documentary film maker.
Sinclair's books include the critically acclaimed Radon Daughters, Downriver(winner of the Encore Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize), White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings, and Lud Heat. He has contributed to magazines as diverse as London Review of Books, Sight and Sound, and Modern Painters, and has written and presented films and documentary features for both TV and radio. More recently Iain Sinclair edited a collection of poetry, Conductors of Chaos.
His last book, Lights Out for the Territory, was published to great acclaim in 1997. Rodinsky's Room, which he co-authored with Rachel Lichtenstein, was published in 1999.
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