Christopher Priest

Reviews of THE AFFIRMATION (1981)

 

[A young man tries to make sense of his life by writing it down as a story. In the story he depicts himself as the winner of a lottery, where the main prize is life ever after. Soon, his two identities start to merge ...]

The Affirmation

Vector:

This is a novel of madness, of the creeping and ultimately irreversible inability to distinguish between the real and the imaginary. What is certain about it is its style, a measured, cadenced, in some ways restrained, but always lyrical prose that at times borders on the poetic but is never less than a joy to read, not least because each word is so well chosen that one can see immediately in one's mind exactly what is being described. Images fairly leap from the page. The Affirmation is without doubt Priest's finest work to date, a brilliant and sustained novel of imaginative power. I have no hesitation whatsoever in commending it to you as one of the best sf novels I have read and, indeed, as one of the best novels of the year.

New Statesman -- London:

The Affirmation is a kind of haunting in which narrator and reader alike become victims of illusion while the author, firmly in control, manipulates the switches on the ghost train. Altogether an original thriller, a study of schizophrenia set against questions of persona and plot.

Daily Telegraph -- London:

There is a compulsive, dreamlike quality about The Affirmation that defies definition.

The Times -- London:

The Affirmation cuts between a writer's imaginary and real life until the two confuse in his mind and his perceptions. This is an original and haunting novel.

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