Communion Town

Sam Thompson

The Man Booker longlisted Communion Town reveals the shadows and sinister inhabitants of a city that never appears the same way twice.

On crowded streets, in the town squares and half-empty tower blocks, the lonely and lost try to make a connection. A weary gumshoe pounds the reeking sidewalks, seeking someone he knows he will never find. Violence loiters in blind alleys, eager to embrace the unsuspecting and the reckless. Lovers are doomed to follow treacherous paths that were laid long before they first met.

This city is no ordinary place. Here, the underworld has surfaced; dreams melt into reality and memories are imagined before they are lived. Ghosts and monsters, refugees and travellers – the voices of Communion Town clamour to tell the stories of the city, stories that must be heard to be believed.

Reviews of Communion Town

    • ‘Subtly and deftly, Thompson succeeds in capturing the experience of city life … Thompson can make a sentence sing in a way that is uniquely his own … Turning the pages of COMMUNION TOWN you become aware that here is a new writer working out what he can do, and realising that he can do anything’ Telegraph
    • ‘Ambitious, haunting and beautifully written … Thompson succeeds in making the familiar seem strange and wonderful’ Daily Mail
    • ‘A book packed with powerful, memorable writing … Thompson’s engrossing, memorable debut is worthy of close, appreciative reading not just from Man Booker judges, but everyone’ Sunday Times
    • ‘Thompson’s ten interlinked tales, longlisted for the Man Booker this week, deconstruct genre and myth while remaining original and superbly unsettling’ Guardian
    • ‘His writing is highly wrought and beautiful, with that sense of leisure and perfectionism one often finds hanging around the dreaming spires – he’s incredibly intelligent and assumes you are too. As the ten stories unfold you’re left with a vivid picture of an imaginary city with its own character’ The Times
    • ‘This impressive debut captures a city’s shifting personality through ten stories. With unanswered questions and Gothic tinges, its kaleidoscopic approach blends into one bewitching picture’ Sunday Telegraph
    • ‘Subtly linked tales … details are joyous’ Independent on Sunday
    • ‘Wonderfully atmospheric and full of a subtle gothic horror that eats away like dry rot at the timbers of this city, Sam Thompson’s accomplished debut weaves many voice into a beguiling urban chorus’ TLS
    • ‘The 19th century motif of the flaneur – basically a figure who experiences a city through the act of walking – is revived to creepily dreamy effect’ Metro
    • ‘Dreamlike, gnarly and present, COMMUNION TOWN shifts like a city walker, from street to street’ China Miéville
    • ‘COMMUNION TOWN is one of those rare creatures – a first novel that combines ambition with humanity. It is a strange, remarkable work’ Tash Aw