Book Review: Inverted World (Christopher Priest)

Again, re-blogged from my old blog but I will add another review very soon. I may make this a semi-regular thing. These will be short reviews of, mainly but not solely, science fiction books. And only those have short circuit-ed certain parts of my brain. I may also be tempted to review televisual, audio and theatrical stuff. If I were you I’d be positively astounded.


This is one of the few books I’ve read that I can really rave about.  Except, I can’t because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I read it in a day, this rarely happens.

Inverted World by Christopher Priest.

Alright, yes, to understand the City, you have to know a teeny tiny bit of maths but google will do that for you if you don’t have a maths A Level (I’m sorry, but I can’t deny that I do).  It’s the story of a boy, an apprentice, who has to learn about his world. Also, a girl, from his world, his wife who asks a lot of questions. And another girl who knows the answers.

The reviews rave about the twist at the end and, boy, is it worth the wait. You are totally taken down one path when you switch to another you may, like me, find it makes so much more sense. Or you may, like me, go “Ohhhhhhhh!”  There is just the right balance of relationships and science fiction. Also, the book is slick.

If you want your mind to be turned inside out, upside down, twisted in ways you never thought imaginable, or, as the title suggests, inverted, I would suggest that you read this.

I wonder when the definite article was removed...


9 comments on “Book Review: Inverted World (Christopher Priest)

  1. This is the first (and only) book by Priest that I have read, sorry. Do read it, it’s awesome. I think he wrote The Prestige but I bet that’s been ruined by the film.

  2. That is true but I still think adaptions ruin the enjoyment of the books they come from, especially if you haven’t read the book before you see the recording. I love, for example, the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice that went out in the early 90s but when I read the book after seeing this, Darcy was Colin Firth in my head and wouldn’t budge, the same with the other characters.

    I’ve not seen the film of The Prestige perhaps I should… but I’ll wait until I’ve read the book.

  3. Again, I disagree — I find if I see the movie BEFORE I read the book it might ruin the enjoyment… However, so many adaptations, for example Richard III with Ian Mckellen are so drastically different and inventive that they are a whole new beast… Or, for example, Remains of the Day — a darn good movie and a brilliant book. The adaptation was stunning!

    • No, you’re only half disagreeing 😉 I understand your point with Remains of the Day (pedantically pointing out that Shakespeare’s Richard III is a play – if that’s the adaption you mean) I need to both see it and read the book so I can’t comment on that one specifically but yes, there are some good adaptions which add to the books. However, I still would lose the enjoyment of creating my own characters whilst reading and not, for example, transposing Indiana Jones or Hans Solo into Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Take the Hitchiker’s Guide film with Martin Freeman – that is an awesome book (radio show/TV show) but if I’d seen that film before I’d read it – no, no, no. Also, I had to drown Freeman out with radio show before I could read the book again and try and remember what my Arthur Dent looked like. Perhaps all this proves is that I am too suggestive…

  4. Hehe, I understand completely. I guess I’m fine with adaptations if I’ve read the material before or I don’t have a vested interest in the original material. So, if I see one of my favorite books abused… that’s another story.

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