Reviews for Inverted World

Inverted World, Gollancz
Masterworks edition

Inverted World will be remembered for many years, I would guess, as one of the few science fiction novels of the 1970s to come up with a new idea. [It] belongs to one of the most popular sub-genres of science fiction: the tale of a man who slowly discovers the true nature of the world in which he lives. Brian Aldiss’s Non-Stop is not directly invoked, but one feels its benign presence hovering somewhere in the atmosphere of Priest’s book, even though it is likely enough that the fans who assume Christopher Priest to be very much on the classical sf wavelength, as they did with Brian Aldiss, will turn out to be mistaken. In the meantime we are left with a substantial achievement, worked out with a loving and economical craftsmanship.” – Foundation

“Not since Larry Niven’s Ringworld has there been an sf concept as original as Priest’s hyperboloid planet. The strange and puzzling city on tracks, which exists only to move and to move again through endless miles of inhospitable country, while weird distortions of space and time precede and follow it, makes for one of the most interesting ideas and developments I have seen anywhere. I like, too, the author’s skilful switching from subjective to objective points of view — first to third person — which in less careful hands could have been a disaster.” – Galaxy

“A science fiction mystery story about a world whose ‘secret’ is as incredible, but as acceptable, to its readers as it is to its characters — which if you think about it is one of the highest compliments a critic can pay to a novel. A well-structured, finely written, mature narrative that is very compelling and thoroughly entertaining. The characters are individual and credible; Helward Mann is an understandable non-hero, and his two women are admirably realized. The minor characters range from good to excellent. The backgrounds are expertly detailed, cinematically vivid. There is really nothing more I dare say about the novel. It is a ‘must’.” – Luna Monthly

“The author has created a unique and original world.” – Publishers Weekly

“The story is among those seldom found, incredibly readable narratives that the reader aches to continue reading.” – Jersey Journal

“A spinning originality grips every page.” – The Listener

“There’s well-paced action and some strong characterization, and as we might also expect, one of the trickiest and most astonishing twist endings in modern SF.” – Tribune, London

“One of the most surprising science fiction novels ever written.” – Le Monde, Paris