Other Sellers on Amazon
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing ‘Send link’, you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message and data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again: Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2020 Hardcover – 25 August 2020
Enhance your purchase
Frequently bought together
Like reading Thomas Pynchon underwater, this is a book of alienation, atmosphere, half glimpsed revelation - and some of the most beautiful writing you'll ever encounter. ― Daily Mail
One of the strangest and most unsettling novels of the year ― The Herald
Harrison is a linguistic artist, constructing sentences that wrap and weave like a stream of consciousness without ever breaking focus...every sentence is a decadent bite of a new sensation ― Sci Fi Now
Uncanny and exquisite ― Morning Star
The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again is a novel so good all the usual reviewerish superlatives barely seem superlative enough. -- Adam Roberts ― Sibilant Fricative
Harrison's unsettling and melancholy novel, gritted with farce and dreadful laughter, shouts award-winner on every page. ― The Times
Richly textured...slippery and seedy. ― The Spectator
A deeply unsettling fever dream of a novel. 4.5 out of 5. ― SFX
[There is] beauty and precision of [Harrison's] psychogeographic prose. 9.4/10. ― Fantasy Book Review
Masterful and deeply affecting. ― Locus Magazine
This excellent book may be the most unsettling piece of fiction you read this year... ― Shiny New Books
Harrison is a linguistic artist, constructing sentences that wrap and weave like a stream of consciousness without ever breaking focus. ― Sci-Fi Paradise
Unsettling, brilliant, and pretty much unlike anything anyone else is doing. ― Locus
Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and like much of Harrison's works, there are scenes of such sublime strangeness that they linger in the mind long after the novel is over. As such it is another triumph from one of our finest writers, and essential reading for 2020 ― Fantasy Hive
One of the best writers of fiction currently at work in English ― Robert MacFarlane
A stunning masterpiece ― Paul Cornell
Treads the line between realism and fantasy with immense assurance and draws a portrait of watery, post-Brexit Britain that brings shivers of both unease and recognition -- Jonathan Coe, author of international bestseller Middle England ― New Statesman Books of the year
As ominous and bizarre as the title suggests. This funny, unsettling book is better left undescribed, but 'post-Brexit England haunted by green fish-people growing out of toilet bowls' should, uh, whet the appetite -- Rory Scothorne ― New Statesman Books of the year
Slippery and dreamlike, a profoundly and eerily disquieting experience . . . future critics will find in his writing a distinct, clear-eyed vision of late-twentieth and early-twenty-first-century life ― J.S. Barnes, Times Literary Supplement
Brilliantly unsettling ― Olivia Laing
M. John Harrison's masterpiece ― Frances Wilson, New Statesman
Absolutely astonishing ― Michael Marshall Smith
A magnificent book ― Neil Gaiman
An extraordinary experience ― William Gibson
A mesmerising, mysterious book . . . Haunting. Worrying. Beautiful ― Russell T. Davies
- Publisher : Gollancz; 1st edition (25 August 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 488 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0575096357
- ISBN-13 : 978-0575096356
- Dimensions : 16 x 3 x 23.6 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 155,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top review from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Top reviews from other countries
It’s a tribute to Harrison’s huge skill that this larger event proceeds either in the corner of the story or totally off the page. The unfocussed, intermittent affair Lee shares with his partner Victoria both embodies and winks at a parallel discontinuity Harrison imposes on his readers. For us, the blurred emotional ripples between them obscure what might otherwise be a lost episode from Quatermass: apparently, the surfacing of a primeval genetic code which transforms (or fulfils) the toxic banality of an England after Brexit. It transforms Victoria as well, in a passage of Expressionist ecstasy that demands far greater attention than this review allows. If The Water Babies is an implicit counterpart to the book’s concerns at that point, then the ambiguous central scene in Jonathon Glazer’s film Under the Skin also haunts the episode, a similar nexus for rapture and extinction. As so often with Harrison, transfiguration is an act of profoundly questionable grace, in ways unknown to Charles Kingsley.
Other echoes sound. One character reads like an eerie twin of northern comedian Peter Kay, and those rooms that fill suddenly with rigid or dancing figures, like a sinister Bill Tidy cartoon, owe much to Robert Aickman. This is no mean feat. Aickman’s understatement, indeterminacy, and striking oneiric imagery defy the supernatural genre and most writers who try to imitate him. Harrison is a highly deft exception. Equally, giving any book this title immediately hints at Freud and Lovecraft – it’s tempting to label at least one chapter The Shadow Over Barnes – but Harrison’s ability is such that he meets and tilts each of those presences to match his own design. Dry humour and pinpoint description (a train interior is “mute and decorous”; flowers are a “chalky neon”) add to a silvered mix of geology and social dread, fumbled love and furtive metamorphosis. As with all Harrison’s best fiction, an initial reading can only pick at its true freight and mirrored implication, like surface images in the scales on the metallic fish that forms at once an ironic symbol for Lee and Victoria’s stranded passion and a totem for the whole reflective narrative. But if you’ve still to sink into a first, half-unfathomable encounter with this sly and displaced text, don’t hang about here, like Lee Shaw: go and dive into it for yourself, right away.
Never mind, here goes. A very strong sense of place - two places actually, west London and Shropshire by the Severn - together with all the familiar details of 21st century life in the UK - gives us a necessary anchor against the pull of the strange. We follow the adventures of Alex Shaw and Victoria as in conventional fiction, wondering how it's all going to end up. What is real, what is imagined? I am reminded of Eco's Foucault's Pendulum - it makes you work. The writing is deliciously subtle and elliptical, nothing is spelled out.
The other powerful presence and I suppose the bedrock of the novel is the awareness of the evolution of the human psyche, its accretions and erosions and eruptions mirroring those of the planet itself.
The end of the story is suitably ambiguous. Shaw, having broken into an unvisited place and recognised himself there, is on the mend. He is thinking of going north in search of Victoria, but it's likely that she has sunk into the same depths he is just emerging from.
Update. I've got it all wrong, the whole book is about an alien conspiracy involving Brexit. This from the author himself, speaking at the Cambridge Literary Festival. It means reading the book all over again and rethinking my analysis - appalling (the rethinking, not the re-reading, which will be a pleasure).