The Vorrh: Book One in the Vorrh Trilogy - Vorrh Trilogy (Paperback)Brian Catling (author)
He knew that he had invented everything in his and their lives and maybe elsewhere in the world. Sometimes he thought he had dreamt reality itself. Dreamt it outside of sleep, which now eluded him continually.
Beyond the colonial city of Essenwald lies the Vorrh, a forest, older than mankind, the origin of everything (or so men say) which sucks souls and wipes minds.
There, a writer heads out on a giddy mission to experience otherness, fallen angels observe humanity from afar, and two hunters - one carrying a bow carved from his lover, the other a charmed Lee-Enfield rifle - fight to the end.
Thousands of miles away, famed photographer Eadweard Muybridge attempts to capture the ultimate truth, as rifle heiress Sarah Winchester erects a house to protect her from the spirits of her gun's victims.
In the tradition of China Mieville, Michael Moorcock and Alasdair Gray, B. Catling's The Vorrh is literary dark fantasy which wilfully ignores boundaries, crossing over into surrealism, magic-realism, horror and steampunk.
In B. Catling's twisting, poetic narrative, Bakelite robots lie broken - their hard shells cracked by human desire - and an inquisitive Cyclops waits for his keeper and guardian, growing in all directions.
‘In The Vorrh we have one of the most original and stunning works of fantasy that has ever been my privilege to read… Caitling’s stupefying work provides both viable alternatives and meaningful escape into its tropic possibilities.
It offers us a welcome to the wilderness.’ – Alan Moore
‘Like an early Ballard novel, The Vorrh does not promote exoticism for its own sake yet is full of wonderful, telling imagery and a strong sense of resolution. For all its page-turning story, it is a poet’s novel, a serious piece of writing. I understand there are to be two sequels. I can barely wait to read the next one.’ – The Guardian
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 355 g
Dimensions: 198 x 128 x 36 mm
In Brian Catling's phosphorescent masterpiece The Vorrh we have one of the most original and stunning works of fantasy that has ever been my privilege to read, a brilliant and sustained piece of invention which establishes a benchmark not just for imaginative writing but for the human imagination in itself. After investigating other worlds of fantasy, The Vorrh is like a first experience of the ocean. Read this book, and marvel. - Alan Moore
Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts, it makes me realize how little imagination I have. - Terry Gilliam
There are not many books that rearrange the molecules of your being, turning your eyes inside out. The Vorrh, this saturnine post-traumatic testament, is one of them. A work of genius. - Iain Sinclair
I am glad to have the book as a companion on my own dark quest. - Tom Waits
I really loved Brian Catling's The Vorrh. It's a hot storm of a novel bursting with art and history, sex and nature. A visionary fantasy epic that is incredibly fun to read. Wildly different, but no less remarkable - Max Porter
The English language has given birth to some great works of unbounded vision and imagination, and here is another one... It's a very sophisticated and subtle exploration of the decadent, primitive and the mythical. Many books are said to be like nothing else, and aren't, but Brian Catling's really is. - Phillip Pullman
Catling's novel reads like a long-lost classic of Decadent or Symbolist literature, with that same sense of timelessness. It's peculiar, wildly imaginative, unafraid to transgress and get lost, and is unlike anything I've ever read. - Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach Trilogy
Darkly imaginative. . . . Packed with striking images . . . real beauty and power. - Kirkus
One of the most original works of visionary fiction since Mervyn Peake. - The Guardian, Michael Moorcock
This is fine stuff. Like the best fantasy writers Catling succeeds in creating a compelling and believable parallel dimension. - Daily Mail
Although comparisons to Michael Moorcock and Mervyn Peake will inevitably be drawn, The Vorrh offers something more...It reminded me of Odilon Redon: a combination of the luminous, the luxurious, monstrous flora and dark wit. - Stuart Kelly TLS
When even the warts of a novel are winning, it's hard to misunderstand that you have something special on your hands, and The Vorrh is absolutely that. Equal parts dark fantasy and surrealist dream, it is inescapably dense, and unrelentingly intense. Shelve it shoulder to shoulder with 2012s other most notable novels, be they of the genre or not, then consider carefully which stands lacking in comparison. - Tor.com
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