“Stunning — a totally original, surreal mystery shot through with hints of the best of César Aira, Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, and Julio Cortázar. Smart, clever, and honest. I doubt you’ve read anything quite like it.” —Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy
On a sweltering summer night at a restaurant in an unnamed Latin American city, a man at a family dinner gets up from the table to go to the restroom . . . and never comes back. He was acting normal, say family members. None of the waiters or other customers saw him leave.
A semi-retired detective takes the case, but what should be a routine investigation becomes something strange, intangible, even sinister. The corporation for which the missing man worked seems to be a front for something else; the staff describes their colleague as having suffered alarming, shifting physical symptoms; a forensic scientist examining his office uncovers evidence of curious microorganisms.
As the detective relives and retraces the man’s footsteps, the trail leads him away from the city sprawl and deep into the country’s rainforest interior . . . where, amidst the overwhelming horrors and wonders of the natural world, a chilling police procedural explodes into a dislocating investigation into the nature of reality.
A best book of the year the Guardian, the Irish Times, the Herald, Scotland and Sunday, and more
“[A] brilliant and unpredictable novel… the story reads like out of Kafka, refined by Jorge Luis Borges. There are echoes too of J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World… unputdownable once you get into it.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Strange, haunting, dislocating.” —Ian Rankin, author of the Inspector Rebus novels
“Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes is a dazzling and unsettling kaleidoscope of (sur)realities that redraw the boundaries of the possible. By evoking an epic confrontation between the corporate and the animal, MacInnes explores a myriad of futures for the relationship between human and non-human life forms.” —Helen Phillips, author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat
“An electrifying piece of work: strange, terrifying, riveting, and written with scintillating intelligence… it stands shoulder to shoulder with Ballard, Lem, VanderMeer, Tom McCarthy.” —Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others
“Weird, wonderful, totally indefinable.” —Justine Jordan, The Guardian
“:abyrinthine, beautifully written and teeming with ideas about fiction and reality that linger long in the mind… A frighteningly good debut novel.” —Lee Rourke, author of Vulgar Things
“A novel of intelligence, grace, cunning and warped imagination, one that melds and sometimes clashes styles and influences to create something original and unsettling. It is a bravura performance, and one that announces Martin MacInnes as one of our most exciting new voices.” —Stuart Evers, author of Your Father Sends his Love
“An impressive and finely textured debut . . . This is fiction as a metaphorical labyrinth of the mind.” —Edward Docx, Guardian
“A talent of the first rank . . . We want to be informed and entertained, I might also say, provoked and enlarged, and Martin MacInnes delivers on all fronts with writing of genuine bravura and originality.” —Christopher Potter, author of You are Here and How to Make a Human Being
“One of this year’s most intriguing debuts.” —Stuart Kelly
“This is the work of a most singular and inventive mind, matched by writing with real flair and clarity. It is a book alive with ideas and cock-eyed intelligence, brimming with passages of genuine brilliance. Infinite Ground does that magical thing that only the very best novels do: it makes you see the world afresh. Dazzling stuff.” —Graeme Macrae Burnet, author of His Bloody Project
“A surreal crime mystery at one level and at another a profoundly serious exploration of the fragility and isolation of modern life.” —Saltire Literary Awards panel