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Maxwell's Demon

Maxwell’s Demon

Steven Hall

  • awardShortlisted, RSL Encore Award, United Kingdom, 2022
  • This autumn, life is catching up with struggling novelist Thomas Quinn.

    Five years ago, his mentor, Andrew Black, wrote a mystery novel that sold a million copies—and then he disappeared. Could it be that Quinn is being stalked by the hero of Black’s book? His wife, Imogen, usually has the answers, but she’s working on the other side of the world and talking to her on webcam just isn’t the same.

    Quinn finds himself in a world that might well be coming apart at the seams. If he could find Black, he might be able to discover the truth.


    PEN Transmissions    

    Steven Hall
    About the Author

    Steven Hall’s debut novel, The Raw Shark Texts, won the Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. It was an international bestseller and has been translated into over thirty languages. Hall was also the lead writer on the bestselling video game Battlefield 1, which sold over 3 million copies in its first week of...

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    16 February 2021
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    Praise for Steven Hall
    andMaxwell’s Demon

    ‘I enjoyed Maxwell’s Demon a great deal. Anyone who enjoyed The Raw Shark Texts will be delighted.’

    ‘Labyrinthine, mind-twisting and deliciously diabolical, yet also unexpectedly warm-hearted. Maxwell’s Demon is fantastic.’

    ‘A cracking detective story that seems to be investigating its own existence. Hall explores that rich border zone that lies between fiction and non-fiction, and does it with verve and a playful, adventurous spirit. A unique voice in exploratory fiction.’

    ‘Dazzlingly clever, wickedly playful, devastatingly poignant.’

    ‘A wonderfully imaginative, splendidly baroque novel that is a combination of the baffling, teasing and tantalising. Part fantasy, part mystery, it is altogether delightful and filled with surprises – in a word, exceptional. No, make that two words; the second is fantastic. A rare, sui generis treat.’

    ‘An engaging, pacy mystery as well as an exploration of reality, entropy and the language of a modern creative landscape … The book is full of conceptual and typographic trickery and it’s soaked in an appreciation of the written word.’

    ‘Moves at an exhilarating lick … The genius of the book is that despite it seeming like an elegant orrery, all these wheels within wheels are a carapace, a psychic armour against a grief (and it’s not the grief you were expecting). Beneath this truly beautiful astrolabe is a beating human heart.’

    ‘A smart, teasing and (above all) loveable mystery tale … Superb.’

    ‘Ingeniously plotted and compulsively well-paced, a blend of detective story and science fiction with an epistemology course thrown in.’

    ‘A postmodern mystery … Ingenious fun … Showily postmodern, full of odd typographical elements, altered realities and intertextual jokes … Maxwell’s Demon is consistently fun and often impressive.’

    ‘An entropic and sprawling mystery … Mind-twisting … Introspective and philosophical, the novel explores the dangers that occur when fatalistic urges take over.’

    ‘Written in the first person and paced like a thriller, there’s an intimacy and immediacy that quickly grips, and even the long digressions on theory — a trademark of the form — are enjoyable to read.’

    ‘It’s Raymond Chandler meets Dan Brown meets Albert Einstein. Meets Christopher Nolan. Meets Jorge Luis Borges. It’s a mind-expanding page-turning adventure-mystery that crackles with intelligence and intrigue; a book about books (sort of) that’s been beautifully rendered in book form.’

    ‘Anyone who has a taste for postmodern hijinks – fans of Thomas Pynchon or Mark Z. Danielewski – will be drawn to the menace and profusion, the same-like brilliance and black hilarity of Maxwell’s Demon.’

    ‘There’s no denying what a brilliant writer Hall is.’

    ‘As melancholy as it is captivating. Whether pertaining to thermodynamics or company kept around a manger or autumn leaves born of text and set free, Maxwell’s Demon is hard to put down. Even when you’re done.’

    ‘There’s really nothing like this book—long contemplations of philosophy, personality, religion and history are all woven into something of a mystery in which no one is truly reliable…Hall manages to put a whole world on the page that shifts and changes as weirdly and wildly as the ones in the novel’s fictional books…Written with verve and a vast appreciation for the power of language.’

    ‘Hall takes great pleasure in his half of the job and leads us playfully through the book’s various twists and turns…This is a novel that requires patience, but the sheer jouissance of Hall’s writing means that that patience…will not go unrewarded.’

    ‘A postmodern literary thriller about a difficult second novel…Anyone who has a taste for postmodern hijinks…will be drawn to the menace and profusion, the game-like brilliance and black hilarity.’

    Other editions ofMaxwell’s Demon
    • Maxwell's Demon
      ISBN: 9781921921490
      16 February 2021
      Buy ebook
    Other Titles bySteven Hall