Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)


Best Seller
Arcadia by Iain Pears
Paperback $17.00
Jan 10, 2017 | ISBN 9781101970836

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Jan 10, 2017 | ISBN 9781101970836

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Feb 09, 2016 | ISBN 9781101946831

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from Arcadia

Product Details


“Every so often you read a novel to which the best critical response is simply ‘Wow!,’ followed by a sigh of pleasure. Eighteen years ago I felt this way about Iain Pears’s intricate historical mystery An Instance of the Fingerpost. The book dazzled for many of the usual reasons—fascinating characters, a richly presented fictive world, polished writing, lively dialogue, a serious engagement with ideas about life and morality—but, more unusually, it was also a masterpiece of plot construction. All this is again true, and then some, of Mr. Pears’s Arcadia. . . . ‘Qui moderatur tempus intelligit omnia,’ goes the Lytten family motto: ‘He who controls time understands everything.’ Doesn’t that actually describe the art of plot construction and its master, Iain Pears?” 
  —Michael Dirda, The Wall Street Journal
“[Pears] is a master at creating structurally intricate novels. . . . As Pears steadily builds his multiplicity of stories, his orchestrations become something far more ambitious, a calculated and at times quite droll assault on the very nature of narrative itself.” 
   —Steve Donoghue, The Washington Post

“Arcadia leads readers into an escalating series of interconnected textual worlds. . . . Pears is a great writer of ideas and intellectual adventure.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A complex romp through time and genres . . . that intertwines 10 major characters over several centuries, with allusions abounding to Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, and a raft of others. . . . [It’s] fun to puzzle out how all the strands fit together.” 
   —Patricia Hagen, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

“With Arcadia, Iain Pears has woven a delightful tapestry in the bold colors of complexity, wonder, and irony, even while offering the careful reader a chance to ferret out numerous literary allusions. Arcadia is filled with satisfying surprises up to the last sentence of its telling. Only a novelist with the knowledge and mental agility shown again and again by Iain Pears could give readers a gift as rich as Arcadia.” 
   —Dan Simmons, best-selling author of The Terror

Arcadia is a gripping tale, with memorable characters who lead us through the plot’s twists and turns to the book’s deeply satisfying resolution. Iain Pears has long been one of my favorite authors, and Arcadia is another example of his masterful storytelling: deftly told, genre-defying, and a treat to read.” 
   —Deborah Harkness, best-selling author of A Discovery of Witches
“A fantastical extravaganza . . . A complex time-travelling, world-hopping caper with insistently epic stakes.” 
   —Steven Poole, The Guardian
“Pears’s prose is a pleasure to read . . . A dream of perfection in beautiful language . . . A compelling narrative; switching from one [storyline] to another means we are constantly in a state of suspense . . . I was entirely captured.” 
   —Marion Halligan, The Sydney Morning Herald
“A many-layered narrative in which real and imagined worlds continually collide . . . Aficionados of fantasy fiction will find plenty here to relish.” 
   —Max Davidson, The Mail on Sunday

“The most striking thing about Pears’s writing—his plots and ideas are complex, but his style is simple and clear. . . . Fantastic fun and, in spite of its complexity, a swift read.”
   —Bryan Applebaum, The Sunday Times
“Not so much a novel as a cornucopia of narratives. . . . As a novelist, Iain Pears doesn’t repeat himself, and he gives with a generous hand.” 
   —Andrew Taylor, The Spectator
“Extremely clever but, better than that, immensely entertaining . . . Pears almost seamlessly merges genres of fantasy, sci-fi, spy thriller, romance, and more.” 
   —Jaine Blackman, The Oxford Times

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Back to Top