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Monument Maker

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781474617123

Price: £25

‘In a dizzying gyroscopic vortex of inner archeology, David Keenan sifts through spiraling past lives to unearth his provocative vision of the future. A colossus of imagination’ LENNY KAYE

‘Visionary and prismatic, gloriously hallucinatory although grounded in the material, Monument Maker’s grand sweep takes in distant historical subterrains, a shimmering summer of the present, the transient, the eternal, the profane, the divine’ WENDY ERSKINE

‘I sometimes think David Keenan dreams aloud. His prose has the effortless enigmatic, unsettling quality of dream’ EDNA O’BRIEN

‘A masterpiece’ WILLIAM BASINSKI

Is it possible for books to dream? For books to dream within books? Is there a literary subterranea that would facilitate ingress and exit points through these dreams?

These are some of the questions posed by David Keenan’s masterly fifth novel, Monument Maker, an epic romance of eternal summer and a descent, into history, into the horrors of the past; a novel with a sweep and range that runs from the siege of Khartoum and the conquest of Africa in the 19th century through the Second World War and up to the present day, where the memory of a single summer, and a love affair that took place across the cathedrals of Ile de France, unravels, as a secret initiatory cult is uncovered that has its roots in macabre experiments in cryptozoology in pre-war Europe.

MONUMENT MAKER straddles genres while fully embracing none of them, a book within a book within a book that runs from hallucinatory historical epics through future-visioned histories of the world narrated by a horribly disfigured British soldier made prophetic by depths of suffering; books that interact with Keenan’s earlier novels, including a return to the mythical post-punk Airdrie landscape of his now classic debut, THIS IS MEMORIAL DEVICE; whole histories of art and religion; books that are glorious choral appendices; bibliographies; imagined films; tape recorded interviews; building to a jubilant accumulation of registers, voices and rhythms that is truly Choral.

Written over the course of 10 years, MONUMENT MAKER represents the apex of Keenan’s project to create books that contain uncanny life and feel like living organisms. It is a meditation on art and religion, and on what it means to make monument; this great longing for something eternal, something that could fix moments in time, forever.

Reviews

I sometimes think David Keenan dreams aloud. His prose has the effortless enigmatic, unsettling quality of dream
EDNA O'BRIEN
Keenan is the kind of writer who can look forward to being lovingly over-interpreted into perpetuity
THE SCOTSMAN
Occult, transformative, difficult, fantastic: Keenan is smashing through so many borders
NEW STATESMAN
In a dizzying gyroscopic vortex of inner archeology, David Keenan sifts through spiraling past lives to unearth his provocative vision of the future. A colossus of imagination
LENNY KAYE
Prepare for a reading experience like no other. Visionary and prismatic, gloriously hallucinatory although grounded in the material, Monument Maker's grand sweep takes in distant historical subterrains, a shimmering summer of the present, the transient, the eternal, the profane, the divine. David Keenan is a blazing, deviant, fearless force and just a total one-off
WENDY ERSKINE
A masterpiece
WILLIAM BASINSKI
A masterpiece
WILLIAM BASINSKI
An experimental novel informed by religion, art, the occult, sex, Tarot, alcohol, signs, symbols and other experimental novels. It evokes the work of Malcolm Lowry, Clarice Lispector, Leonora Carrington, Arthur Machen, Philip K. Dick and even John Fowles. Like them, Keenan is a literary disruptor . . . This is not an easy or straightforward read, but it crackles with the energy of someone challenging themselves to make something new, meaningful and personal with the tools at their disposal. By turns it is obscure, romantic, terrifying, funny and - an underrated and unfashionable literary virtue - sincere
SPECTATOR
Adventurous readers, devil-may-care readers, readers who are in it for the long haul - roll up
BOOKMUNCH
Don't read it. Smoke it. Snort it. Swallow it. It's not a novel. It's an acid trip. A freaky, feverish dream set in print. Baroque and bizarre, Monument Maker is a literary cathedral designed by Mad King Ludwig II, with help from Burroughs and Arthur C. Clarke
CHEERIO
His visionary aesthetic reaches its grandest expression yet in his new novel, Monument Maker, a garrulous, gargantuan and ultimately elusive magnum opus
FINANCIAL TIMES
A text of colossal ambition . . . at times, it feels a little like reading Yeats
LITERARY REVIEW
David Keenan has become one of the most prolific and innovative new literary stylists of the last five years . . . At this stage of his game Keenan can make his books do pretty much anything . . . Keenan's most ambitious and accomplished book yet. He has has built a monument, turning history to dust in the process, and delivering a hefty instalment of a literary career where literally anything is possible
IRISH TIMES