Synopses & Reviews
Victor lived on mother's milk until six, then on charity, before working his way to wealth and power. In his old age, to avenge his blighted youth, Victor erects an erotic, glass-enclosed shopping arcade as a monument to himself. Award-winning author Jim Crace conjures a wholly original fiction world that's as spellbinding as it is uncannily familiar.
"Crace passes up conventional storylines (a rags-to-riches saga, corporate intrigue) to attend to his own altogether convincing world, recognizably contemporary but geographically indeterminate--a city rooted in a medieval English past but dependent on American-style freeways, its two poles Big Vic (the fortress-like skyscraper where frail, laconic Victor lives alone) and the Soap Market, where the soapies (fruit and vegetable traders) form a link between town and country and dispense ``the blessing of the multitude'' as lustily as the denizens of Gershwin's Catfish Row....Read this for its story, and you'll feel shortchanged; read it for its rich texture, with influences running the gamut from Robert Browning to speculative fiction, and you'll feel amply rewarded." Kirkus Reviews