Palimpsest by Catherynne M Valente

This poignant poetic work is a feast for the mind.
Palimpsest book cover

Sei, November,  Ludov, and Oleg -- four people unknown to each other but united by grief and their obsession with the city of Palimpsest. Located beyond the human realm, Palimpsest is accessible only by those who sleep after generating the energy which comes from sex. Once anyone arrives in the city, they indulge in sense pleasures and are able to obtain their innermost desires -- two things which ensure that Palimpsest visitors return.

When they awake from their surreal adventure and return to reality, Palimpsest visitors' only evidence that what they've experienced is not just a dream, is the new tattoos which mark their bodies. And with each return visit, the tattoos grow, eventually depicting a map of each neighborhood in the city.

Like its namesake Palimpsest  (diverse layers), the city is indeed complex with many hidden aspects beneath its surreal landscape. Magical images reminiscent of the "Alice in Wonderland" fantasy create a surreal reading experience. It's as if someone engineered the city -- inhibited by mechanical bugs and conjoined human animal-beings -- based on a blueprint of adult hopes and wishes. If you want to be seduced by an beautiful and sensuous fantasy world, look no farther than Palimpsest.

Like other Cathryn Valente books (Orphan's Tales, In the Garden of Coin and Spice), this poignant poetic work is a feast for the mind. Palimpsest is the gift of a fairy tale wrapped in an allegory and tied with a mystical ribbon. A gift that readers can enjoy again and again.

This Palimpsest book review was written by

Have you read Palimpsest?

We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.

Palimpsest reader reviews

9.1/10 from 1 reviews

There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?

Write a reader review

Palimpsest by Catherynne M Valente book cover thumb image

Thank you for taking the time to write a reader review for Palimpsest by Catherynne M Valente; it really helps other readers find that perfect next read. Kindly enter your name, country and review below and click the 'Submit your review' button to send.




Your rating (out of 10)

Your review

* Review will be moderated before appearing on the site.

More recommended reading in this genre

Great books also published in 2009

Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: