Indoctrinaire

Indoctrinaire

SYNOPSIS;IN THE VERY DEPTHS OF THE DENSEST JUNGLE IN BRAZIL,THERE EXISTS A CIRCULAR PLAIN OF STUBBLE.A PERFECT CIRCLE.THIS IS THE PANALTO DISTRICT,AND NO MAN HAS EVER COME OUT OF IT ALIVE.ELIAS WENTIK MIGHT,PERHAPS BE THE EXCEPTION.HE FINDS HIMSELF IMPRISONED IN THE VERY CENTRE OF THE PLAIN,SUBJECT TO HUMILIATING AND BIZARRE FORMS OF INTERROGATION.AND THIS VISIT,SO COMPLETELY CONTEMPORARYIN IT'S PARANOID VISION OF STRANGENESS,HAS REVEALED TO HIM THE INCREDIBLE SECRET OF THE PANALTO.IT EXISTS TWO HUNDRED YEARS IN THE FUTURE.

Reviews of the Indoctrinaire

Indoctrinario (Indoctrinaire, 1970), fue la primera novela escrita por el británico Christopher Priest, del que tan buenas obras he disfrutado.

I've been reading all my younger self's sci-fi library over the last couple of years. 'The Jail' was published as two separate short stories originally, and Michael Moorcock persuaded him to enlarge the theme and make a novel out of it.

Christopher Priest's debut novel is very much a product of its times, the early 1970's, which might lead you to say, "Duh, look at the publication date, Ralphie." Well, yes, I will give you that, since it does state quite clearly that Harper & Row published it September 1970, that Pocket Books published it October 1971 (with a nice Richard Powers wraparound cover, I might add). I think this sea-change of society is much more important to the dating of the novel than is the change in the international politics that form a major element in the plot, for the book could be easily revised, substituting Muslims for Russians...until the next bugaboo appears over the political horizon.

Nonetheless, it does say some quite interesting things about the time in which it was written. When events become clearer to the narrator, producing no surprise in anyone who has read the blurb, exposition suddenly predominates. Well, the latter is touched upon later, but by Wentik not the scientists in charge of the actual time machine. On balance, Indoctrinaire is one of those science fiction novels that its much more interesting to think about than to actually read. On balance, I think the first under-explained half worked better, although the blurb radically undermined the sense of mystery. Its more fun to dissect this novel than to actually read it.

Christopher Priests debut is (I have read elsewhere) a revision of a novel which was expanded from a novella which was expanded from a couple of short stories.

Whilst the plot sounds simple enough, his arrival in the Brazil of the future is a complicated Kakfaesque scenario which initially feels at odds with the rest of the book (indeed, in this edition, an author's note at the end explains that the first 20,000 words were originally separate and unnconnected 10,000 word stories which explains a lot).

it's a pretty wild ride. The writer, interestingly, totally predicted a particular section of the rain forest getting de-forested, which is pretty neat.

Tra gli esperimenti e le prove a cui viene sottoposto, un complicato labirinto, che resta nella memoria come uno dei più angoscianti nella fantascienza (il più allucinante resta quello di Satellite proibito di Budrys).

Other novels, including Fugue For a Darkening Island and The Glamour, are currently in preparation for filming. As a journalist he has written features and reviews for The Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the New Statesman, the Scotsman, and many different magazines.

  • English

  • Science Fiction

  • Rating: 3.24
  • Pages: 160
  • Publish Date: November 1st 1971 by New English Library
  • Isbn10: 0450009181
  • Isbn13: 9780450009181