The Etched City by K J  Bishop

The Etched City

K J Bishop

The protagonists of this fantasy world Beat novel meander through 200-odd pages trying to reconstruct their shattered lives. Then the numinous invades the mundane... I still don't know what to make of it but I loved it! It stimulated my mind and filled it with baroque images. Not for the faint-hearted, though...

Extract

'When I came to this city, I would have agreed with anyone who said there was little mystery left in the world. But in you, madam, first in your image, then in your living self, I saw the allure of something as far away and as secret as the stars. As I reached towards this unknown, I began to feel like a man who has ridden through a vast desert, never knowing anything but the sand around him and the dry road under him, then comes upon the mirage of a garden and a city, and finds that the mirage is real, and that it is bigger than the desert; that the desert was, after all his walking, only a small part of the mirage.'

Parallels
  • Shadow Dance by Angela Carter
  • Veniss Underground by Jeff Vander Meer
  • The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever by Stephen Donaldson

Books with similar mood

The Company Man

Robert Jackson Bennett

Queen of the South

Arturo Perez-Reverte

The Hungry Ghosts

Anne Berry

Shriek

Jeff VanderMeer

Norma

Sofi Oksanen

Kingdom of Strangers

Zoe Ferraris

Absolution

Patrick Flanery

Splinter

Sebastian Fitzek

The Pleasures of Men

Kate Williams

The Taker

Alma Katsu

Too Like the Lightning

Ada Palmer

The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times

Xan Brooks

The Sport of Kings

C E Morgan

See You Tomorrow

Tore Renberg

The Well

Catherine Chanter

Gargling with Tar

Jachym Topol

Behindlings

Nicola Barker

Rosewater

Tade Thompson

Europe in Autumn

Dave Hutchinson

The House of Shattered Wings

Aliette de Bodard

The Axeman's Jazz

Ray Celestin

The Owl Killers

Karen Maitland

Crusaders

Richard T Kelly

The Known World

Edward Jones

The Nautical Chart

Arturo Perez-Reverte

Reckless

Hasan Ali Toptas

Endgame

Ahmet Altan

The House of Rumour

Jake Arnott

The Islands

Carlos Gamerro

The Dark Side of Love

Rafik Schami

Drivetime

James Meek

Poppy Shakespeare

Clare Allan

The Art of Murder

Jose Carlos Somoza

The Scar

China Mieville

Bitten

Kelley Armstrong

Bold as Love

Gwyneth Jones

An Orchestra of Minorities

Chigozie Obioma

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

Nowhere People

Paulo Scott

The Honey Guide

Richard Crompton

The Blasphemer

Nigel Farndale

The Clay Dreaming

Ed Hillyer

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Carrie Ryan

Little Constructions

Anna Burns

Headcrusher

Alexander Garros and Aleksel Evdokimov

The Historian

Elizabeth Kostova

House of Leaves

Mark Z Danielewski

Baudolino

Umberto Eco