ANCIENT ECHOES by Robert Holdstock


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 Another original combination of archetypal myth and magic realism, from the author of The Hollowing (1994), etc. Jack Chatwin has the ability to see into another world, where the shaman-figure, Grayface, and his mercurial sister-wife, Greenface, must constantly flee from some unknown horror. Then, in the city of Exburgh, archeologist John Garth uncovers the spectacular ruins of a vast, complex city, Glanum, that somehow is connected to Jack's visions. Glanum, indeed, seems to have the ability to relocate itself in space and time; at one such manifestation, Garth hitches a ride and vanishes. Grayface, meanwhile, using Jack himself as a gateway, enters Jack's word, steals away Jack's daughter, Natalie, and melts into the ruins of Glanum. To save Natalie, Jack's psychologist wife, Angela, hooks Jack up to state-of-the-art virtual-reality equipment and helps Jack enter the world of his visions, where he must locate Greenface and persuade her to rejoin Grayface. So when Greenface refuses, Jack must probe back in time, to the origins of Glanum in the ancient city of Jericho, and discover what dreadful crime Grayface and Greenface committed that has impelled the city to such a relentless pursuit. Despite the choppy narrative and mediocre characters, Holdstock's remarkable ideas resonate to their own highly unusual, suggestive rhythms.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-451-45575-4
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: ROC/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1996


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