So you think you know everything there is to know about Sam Thompson’s Booker nominated novel Communion Town? Test your knowledge against our GoodReads quiz here!
What’s it about?
Communion Town is described by the book’s publisher Fourth Estate as follows:
Two travellers arrive in an unknown city: Ulya and Nicolas are asylum seekers, hoping for safety and a better life, but instead they find a haunted metropolis whose people live in fear of the monsters in the shadows. When her brother disappears, Ulya learns how easily anyone can fall into the city’s underworld.
Communion Town maps this imaginary city, and explores the ways in which it invents itself by creating outcasts and scapegoats. As the novel unfolds in different parts of the city, we encounter a lovelorn folk-singer, an introverted child, a repressed detective, a slaughterhouse worker, a lost tourist, a ghost and a gigolo. From their lonely voices we gather the many-faceted story of the city: a place imagined differently by each citizen as he or she searches for connection, transformation or escape.
Mixing the everyday with the gothic and the fantastic, Communion Town is a novel that deals in the uncanny: in doubles and repetitions; in things half-glimpsed; in desires half-acknowledged. It is a virtuosic piece of writing from a young writer of true talent.
Who is Sam Thompson?
According to his official bio on the Fourth Estate website:
Sam Thompson is the author of Booker longlisted Communion Town. He was born in 1978. He teaches English at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and he writes for the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books and the Guardian. He lives in Oxford with his wife and son.
What does BookerMarks think of Communion Town?
Aaron (Review): “Thompson is at home with the format, creating tales that rival the best of old Twilight Zone episodes meeting old Tales from the Crypt episodes and making sweet love with them until something new is spawned as a result.”
Elizabeth (Review): “With so much conveyed in every word, it was clear that Sam Thompson was thoroughly invested in his writing.”
Karli (Review): “Much of the book reads like a crime noir novel – the city is full of mysterious, beautiful women, private investigators, butchers, murderers, and men who refer to women as ‘dames.’”