Author(s): Brian Catling
'A benchmark not just for imaginative writing but for the human imagination in itself...Read this book, and marvel.' Alan Moore
'A work of genius.' Iain Sinclair
'Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts.' Terry Gilliam
In the tradition of China Miéville, 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. Beyond the colonial city of Essenwald lies the Vorrh, the forest 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.s.
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 * 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 * This is fine stuff. Like the best fantasy writers Catling succeeds in creating a compelling and believable parallel dimension. * Daily Mail * One of the most original works of visionary fiction since Mervyn Peake. * The Guardian, Michael Moorcock * Darkly imaginative. . . . Packed with striking images . . . real beauty and power. * Kirkus * 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 * 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 * 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 * I am glad to have the book as a companion on my own dark quest. * Tom Waits * 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 * Brian Catling is simply a genius. His writing is so extraordinary it hurts, it makes me realize how little imagination I have. * Terry Gilliam * 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 (born in London, 1948) is an English sculptor, poet, novelist, film maker and performance artist.He was educated at North East London Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. He now holds the post of Professor of Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford and is a fellow of Linacre College. He has been exhibiting his work internationally since the 1970s. Some of his most notable works and performances include: Quill Two at Matt's Gallery, Dilston Grove in 2011, Antix at Matt's Gallery in 2006, a commissoned memorial to the Site of Execution, Tower of London in 2007, Vanished! A Video Seance made with screenwriter Tony Grisoni in 1999 and Cyclops at South London Gallery 1996. In 2001 he co founded the international performance collective WiTW. As a writer he has published poetic works, including one compendium A Court of Miracles in 2009. His first prose book Bobby Awl was published in 2007.