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The Affirmation - Christopher Priest

Peter Sinclair has broken up with his girlfriend, lost his job, and is miserable. He has moved from London to the country to renovate a house for a family friend while he tries to rebuild his life. He starts to write a book about...

 

Peter Sinclair has won the lottery and left his home city of Jethra to travel across the impossibly vast Dream Archipelago to undergo an operation that makes him immortal. He carries with him a book about a version of himself living in an imaginary city called London...

 

At the start of the book, it appears clear that the first Peter’s world is reality and the other is a wish-fulfilling fiction, but these two worlds merge and interact to the point that initial perception is challenged. What you have here is effectively a rolled cake of two realities then sliced in such a way that you can see the distinct layers but not the swirl.

 

And the jam in between these layers is absolutely packed with scrumptiousness. This book has a lot to say about the nature of creativity, memory, and the perception of reality. Is an imagined London any more real than an imagined Jethra simply because a physical version of the former exists?

 

There are surprises and revelations throughout the book, both stories are engaging, but it’s best to approach the book with dream-like acceptance. Don’t get too hung up on teasing the two threads into something clinically logical, but instead delight in their entwining. The ending is absolutely perfect for the book. It ends like a dream.