BOOKS / Featured

Titan Brings Back “The Adjacent”

C.Kinzie|| Nanaimo, BC

I’m not sure how I missed this novel when it first came out, nor am I sure what I expected. I thought, Priest-Adjacent-500when I began this book by Christopher Priest, that there might be something historical about it. I certainly didn’t expect to want to add this book to my list of favorite novels.

There’s an artistry to Priest’s writing that is rare these days and it was an absolute pleasure to read.

There are several complex stories in “The Adjacent” that wind around each other like vines on a trellis. Then, rather suddenly, everything seems to be linked by some rather shocking events.

Yes, by george, I’m being vague. I don’t want to give too much away.

“The Adjacent” begins with photographer, Tibor Talent as he struggles to comprehend the death of his wife. All that was left behind after the attack that took her life is a triangle scorched into the earth.

As he travels with Military guard to a new and vague assignment he sees, what he later finds out, is the same weapon’s mark on a huge part of London.

One of the most interesting characters in the book, Tibor sees the world through his photographer’s eye. But nothing in the book is really what it seems.

Something being adjacent refers to a type of misdirection. Priest writes:

“The magician places two objects close together, or connects them in some way, but one is made to be more interesting (or intriguing, or amusing) to the audience.”

I found myself wondering, as I read the novel, if there was some misdirection going on. Priest is such a talented writer that I was willing to go along with the puzzling tales because I was remarkably curious.

There’s definitely magic at work in “The Adjacent”. Priest does a wonderful job creating memorable, mysterious and sympathetic characters.

Tibor, the freelance photographer seems overwhelmed by everything and it, perhaps, most comfortable seeing things through the distance of his camera lens. There’s an infamous magician who is called to military service only to find himself in the company of a well-known author.

Malina is a pilot in WWII with a tragic love story. She too is mysterious and reveals very little about herself.

Each of these remarkable characters leaves a mark, regardless of how long we read about them. Christopher Priest is very talented when it comes to telling stories and “The Adjacent” is no exception.

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