Christopher Priest

Reviews of THE GLAMOUR (1984)

The Glamour

[Meet the hundreds of invisible people who drift on the fringes of society. They are normal in every way except one: ordinary people cannot see them. Are they totally free, or trapped by their condition?]

The Independent:

First published in 1984, The Glamour marks Christopher Priest's move away from science fiction towards a more realist mode. Richard Grey is a television camera-man who walks into the path of an exploding car bomb. When a woman called Susan, claiming to be his former lover, visits him during his convalescence in Devon, he tries to recall the months they spent together travelling through France. Things get spooky when memories of "the glamour" start to resurface - intimations of an underworld peopled by invisible presences. A tightly narrated slice of psychological horror.

White Dwarf:

Like Priest's The Affirmation, this book bears out Brian Aldiss's remark that sf can be at its best when in the process of turning into something else. Like The Affirmation it's written with a cool lucidity shot with hints of unease, luring you towards shocking and fantastic revaluations of the story so far. The earlier book is vaguely related to the sf theme of parallel worlds; The Glamour relates in the same skewed way to H.G. Wells's The Invisible Man -- with a nod to G.K. Chesterton's even more relevant short story of the same name. The Glamour needs to be read, not described, in all its strange detail. Hypnotic, tricky, uneasy and full of double meaning, it demands to be reread the moment you've finished.

Publishers Weekly:

Told in a variety of voices, with a dawning sense of the evils of his special "gift" and with twists of plot that make it a satisfying piece of psychological horror, this is a compelling and haunting novel.

Library Journal:

This is a story of psychological suspense, mixed with elements of the supernatural. A well-written, thoroughly engrossing tale; highly recommended.

Saturday Review:

An intelligent, even challenging occult novel, one of the few I'm aware of that unsettle the reader not by the blood they spill but the conundrums they pose.

New Statesman -- London:

Priest's control is masterly. Rather like an Escher lithograph, the book uses a series of clear and simple steps to create an apparently irrefutable impossibility.

Time Out -- London:

[Of revised edition, 1996]: More than just a reissue for Priest's wonderful 1984 novel, this is a revised and definitive edition, which the author decided was the only way to get the book out of his head after twelve years. Read it yourself and you'll see why. It will change the way you see the world. And yourself.

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