The Adjacent

The Adjacent

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by Christopher Priest

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The eagerly anticipated new novel from “one of the master illusionists of our time.” (Wired)

In the near future, Tibor Tarent, a freelance photographer, is recalled from Anatolia to Britain when his wife, an aid worker, is killed—annihilated by a terrifying weapon that reduces its target to a triangular patch of scorched


The eagerly anticipated new novel from “one of the master illusionists of our time.” (Wired)

In the near future, Tibor Tarent, a freelance photographer, is recalled from Anatolia to Britain when his wife, an aid worker, is killed—annihilated by a terrifying weapon that reduces its target to a triangular patch of scorched earth. 

A century earlier, Tommy Trent, a stage magician, is sent to the Western Front on a secret mission to render British reconnaissance aircraft invisible to the enemy.

Present day. A theoretical physicist develops a new method of diverting matter, a discovery with devastating consequences that will resonate through time.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the near future, photographer Timor Tarent is returning to Britain from eastern Turkey, grieving the recent loss of his wife, Melanie, in a roadside terrorist attack. But before readers can find out too much about Timor, the story jumps to World War I and a stage magician named Tommy Trent, and then moves to a World War II-era airfield and another avatar of Timor, interweaving back and forth among what appear to be echoes in time and space. VERDICT Priest (The Prestige; The Islanders) explores love and loss in all of these asymmetrical narratives, put together like a slightly disjointed puzzle. The unexplained echoes of characters throughout various time periods along with the lack of a detailed explanation of the mysterious weapons technology known as adjacency might leave some readers unsettled, but those receptive to a more open-ended storytelling style will find this novel utterly absorbing.
Publishers Weekly
Priest (The Islanders) mistakes ambiguity for cleverness in this moderately ambitious tale of separated lovers. In a post-climate-change near future, recently widowed English freelance photographer Tibor Tarent returns from war-torn Turkey to find his homeland altered in the wake of a mysterious terrorist attack—one that looks eerily similar to the strange event that killed his wife. Both turn out to have been caused by “adjacency technology,” which disassembles matter and scatters copies of it through time. Tibor’s confused wanderings are intercut with scenes from other timelines, as versions of him and his wife try to find each other. Priest pauses to wax lovingly on vintage war planes and stage magic (recalling his earlier hit, The Prestige). The structure is neat and leads smartly to a surprisingly strong ending, but the plot collapses under the weight of stilted prose (“But physical action is one thing, while silence is a judged opinion”) and a thoroughly uninteresting yet inexplicably woman-attracting protagonist. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Taking place against a kaleidoscopic backdrop of Earth’s past, present, and future—not to mention dimensions somewhere in between—the novel is a wonderful, stand-alone statement about the resonance of history, memory, and love. But for attentive, longtime fans, there are Easter eggs that reference many of his past novels, including The Prestige, which only adds to the grand intricacy of Priest’s multifaceted vision." - AV Club Best Books of 2014 

"Incredibly detailed and vivid." -  Lit Stack 

"Priest dabbles in a puzzling, intriguing work worthy of the sort of highbrow magic act it endeavors to perform." - Leviathyn

"A great read." -

"When The Adjacent finally explodes into a head-spinning blast of blurred reality, Priest contains the fallout — then he orchestrates it all a stunning denouement, one that readers accustomed to his unforeseen-yet-inevitable twists might not even be prepared for...Priest hides the answers to his metaphysical mysteries just up his sleeve, waiting for the most jaw-dropping time to spring them." - NPR

"Christopher Priest is very talented when it comes to telling stories and “The Adjacent” is no exception." - Imp Mag

"A fascinating writer." -  Big Shiny Robot 

"Interesting fantasy." - City of Films

“Unraveling it all is completely fascinating.” – San Francisco Book Review

"Science and magic, as in many of Priest’s works, are combined and focused together into a strange amalgamation of cold emotion and fiery passion creating a hurricane of a book." - Geek Girl Project

"A gripping novel." - Project Fandom

"Featuring the twists, turns, and puzzles we’ve come to expect from Priest." - Barnes & Noble Book Blog

"A chiller...meant to disturb." - Wall Street Journal

"all visions, illusions, mystery"...."a chiller...meant to disturb" - Wall Street Journal

"Stunning." - Locus Magazine

"Priest knows exactly what he’s doing — and is doing it brilliantly" - Chicago Tribune

"A wonderful piece of fiction, an intricate puzzle that asks the reader to pay 
close attention and to read not just the text, but the subtext and its implications" - Booklist  

"An absorbing and complex yarn of altered realities and twisted timelines, where nothing is quite as it seems ..." The Guardian

"One of the best novels of the year" SFX Magazine

"The Adjacent is puzzling, brilliant, frustrating, page-turning, disturbing and absorbing." WERTZONE

"A beautifully written novel." SCIFINOW

"Intoxicatingly freewheeling." Metro

"Thoroughly engrossing, and throughout Priest's scene-setting is impeccable. His descriptions of the workings of Bomber Command in the WWII section are worthy of Len Deighton. In the futuristic strand, he ... creates a mood of oppressive menace." Starburst Magazine

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Meet the Author

Christopher Priest is a leading figure in modern SF and fantasy. His novel The Islanders won both the BSFA Award and the John W. Campbell Award. The Separation won both the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the BSFA Award.

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The Adjacent 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Old_Man_McFly More than 1 year ago
Good book. Surprised to see only a one-star rating thus far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago