The Inverted World - Christopher Priest
The Inverted World is a cold book. 

Most of Priest's books are told in a stiff and remote mode, which frequently suits the alienated subject matter. It's not the case here.


1 - The sterile environment depicted is reflected in the unemotional natures of the characters and of their relationships with one another: Helwood vs his wife Victoria and Helwood vs his father; 

2 - The dialog is very stilted and stiff; it barely pretends to achieve more than information exchange. And as a result, it is difficult to become involved in the characters' lives or to care about their feelings;

3 - The leitmotiv of the book is abandoned three-quarters of the way through;

4 - It lacks an explanation on how the characters moved from this world to the Inverted World;

5 - The books wrap-up at the end, ie, "The Explanation", leaves a lot to be desired. There're lots of questions unanswered. Intentional?

Redeeming factor:

1 - It has a mind-boggling idea that is at the very heart of the novel. 

Compared to his later books I think it lacks the subtlety and ambiguity expected from him.

It's well worth the read simply for its basic concept (3 stars for that).