×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

These Demented Lands
     

These Demented Lands

5.0 1
by Alan Warner
 

See All Formats & Editions

After the critical success of his first novel,  Morvern Callar, Alan Warner has written an extraordinary, stirring sequel to Morvern's odyssey, confirming him as one of the most original, uniquely gifted writers to have appeared this decade.

An air-crash investigator haunts the hinterlands of an island—around the isolated honeymoon hot spot,

Overview

After the critical success of his first novel,  Morvern Callar, Alan Warner has written an extraordinary, stirring sequel to Morvern's odyssey, confirming him as one of the most original, uniquely gifted writers to have appeared this decade.

An air-crash investigator haunts the hinterlands of an island—around the isolated honeymoon hot spot, the Drome Hotel—gathering the debris from fallen planes that the islanders have fashioned into makeshift sheds and fences; but what kind of jigsaw is he really assembling as he paces the runway?

A young woman makes landfall on the island, crossing the interior to arrive at the Drome Hotel: desperate, strange—and strangely familiar.

Meanwhile, DJ Cormorant is trying to organize The Big One, a rave on the adjacent airstrip, and from all over These Demented Lands come twisted characters, converging for one final Saturday night at the Drome Hotel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers who remember Warner's debut, Morvern Callar, may recognize the mysterious heroine in his second novel as she wanders about an isolated island populated by lunatics, losers and the lost. Fellow eccentrics include a hippy salvager known as the Argonaut; the existential Aircrash Investigator, who searches for the remains of a long-forgotten plane wreck; and John Brotherhood, sinister proprietor of the Drome, a seamy resort hotel for honeymooning couples. The landscape that these characters inhabit is also eccentric but familiar, invoking Homer, Shakespeare and Warner's fellow Scots R.L. Stevenson and James Kelman. After Warner's jaded but willful heroine clashes with Brotherhood, she winds up indentured as a housemaid to pay her hotel bill. Her escape from the Drome, like her hidden motive for going there originally, is less absorbing than the heavy brogue, deadpan dialogue and surreal imagery of Warner's prose. Even if plot matters less to Warner than trippy atmospherics, he earns praise for finding poetry in a parade of whelk-pickers, a sinking ferry, a psychedelic beach-rave and even a propeller blade. (Mar.) FYI: Morvern Callar, winner of the Somerset Maugham Prize, has been filmed by the BBC.
Gavin Wallace
Think of the inventiveness of an Iain Banks hilted to the weird lens of a David Lynch, with a soundtrack from Verde and Bob Dylan...These Demented Lands is fiction "on the Outer Rim of Everything." Rave on, child. -- The Scotsman
Harry Ritchie
These Demented Lands confirms that Allan Warner boasts an extravagant talent...this novel is set on a Scottish that contains a variety of weird landmarks and a hallucinogenic cast of characters -- including a DJ, a visitor whose job it is to assess candidates for sainthood, and a wonderfully unfazed heroine, Morvern Callar. -- Mail on Sunday
Liam McIlvanny
Prodigious powers of invention...marvelously dynamic prose...brilliant visual imagination...A greatly ambitious novel. -- Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385491464
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1998
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.59(d)

Meet the Author

Alan Warner is the author of three previous novels: Morvern Callar, soon to be a film by Lynn Ramsay; These Demented Lands, which won the 1998 Encore Award; and The Sopranos, also soon to be a film.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

These Demented Lands 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These Demented Lands, Alan Warner's second novel is a sequel of sorts to his highly praised first novel, Morvern Callar. These Demented Lands is a dark, eerie, surreal and sometimes hilarious journey into the landscape of postmodern literature. Warner's characters are carefully crafted and highly memorable and posses many of the qualities of archetypes. The novel, itself, is somewhat of a dark and stormy post-apocalyptic fantasy. The book's protagonist is Morvern Callar, herself. As the novel opens, Morvern is swimming away from a sinking ship, a small girl in tow. After returning the child safely home, Morvern begins her own strange journey across the island. Rumors concerning the fate of the other passengers on board the ship abound and, as they do, a host of newcomers descends on the island. Morvern meets, and is immediately attracted to, a mysterious man known only as the Aircrash Investigator. Although he seems to be pillaging the island's makeshift fences and sheds for crash debris, his real purpose is something of a mystery. Warner has peopled his novel with an odd assortment of characters, yet each one is perfect and perfectly-drawn. Besides Morvern, herself, and the Aircrash Investigator, there is Devil's Advocate, a cigar-smoking fat man who assesses candidates for sainthood; there is Brotherhood, the owner of the Drome Hotel, a popular honeymoon resort; and a DJ who is determined to put together the biggest party the island has ever known. The myriad of minor characters that live in the pages of this novel are just as perfect. The prose in These Demented Lands can be difficult at times, especially for those who prefer a more flowing style. Warner, however, is one of the most talented writers now at work and this book is superbly told with Morvern's own independent and unflinching frankness. The dialogue is sometimes as absurd as is the character speaking, but this only enhances the book's believability and its appeal as well as its strangeness. Warner's story does parallel certain Christian myths, in a surreal sort of way, as should soon become apparent, from the characters' strange names, if nothing else. And, although this is a dark book, some of the dialogue is hilariously funny. These Demented Lands is a complex story about complex characters. It is too bad it has been somewhat overlooked in favor of more commercial but far less polished books. Alan Warner is an extraordinarily good writer and These Demented Lands is an extraordinarily good novel.