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In his debut novel, literary alchemist Jeff VanderMeer takes us on an unforgettable journey, a triumph of the imagination that reveals the magical and mysterious city of Veniss through three intertwined voices. First, Nicholas, a would-be Living Artist, seeks to escape his demons in the shadowy underground—but in doing so makes a deal with the devil himself. In her fevered search for him, his twin sister, Nicola, spins her own unusual and hypnotic tale as she discovers the hidden secrets of the city. And finally, haunted by Nicola’s sudden, mysterious disappearance and gripped by despair, Shadrach, Nicola’s lover, embarks on a mythic journey to the nightmarish levels deep beneath the surface of the city to bring his love back to light. There he will find wonders beyond imagining…and horrors greater than the heart can bear. By turns beautiful, horrifying, delicate, and powerful, Veniss Underground explores the limits of love, memory, and obsession in a landscape that defies the boundaries of the imagination. This special edition includes the short stories “The Sea, Mendeho, and Moonlight”; “Detectives and Cadavers”; and “A Heart for Lucretia” and the novella Balzac’s War, offering a complete tour of the fantastic world of Veniss.Praise for Veniss Underground“A wonder-filled journey that echoes Dante’s Divine Comedy, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and the landscapes of Hieronymus Bosch.”—Publishers Weekly“Audacious . . . full of beautiful sentences, black humor and terrible wonders.”—San Francisco Chronicle“[The novel’s] milieu recalls Philip K. Dick, its passages of prose poetry Edgar Allan Poe, its wry fatalism Jim Thompson. Wow!”—Booklist “In the hands of a brilliant writer like Jeff VanderMeer, writing fantasy can be a means of serious artistic expression . . . also playful, poignant, and utterly, wildly imaginative.”—Peter Straub, author of lost boy lost girl
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