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The Alteration by Kingsley Amis
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The Alteration

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The Alteration by Kingsley Amis
Paperback $16.95
May 07, 2013 | ISBN 9781590176177

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“I’m convinced. . . that The Alteration. . . deserves to endure. It succeeds not only as a wildly imaginative, vastly entertaining, fictional dystopia, but as an acute exploration of the emotional dynamics behind cultural, political or religious faith. . . . For all its witty arabesques, Amis’s counterfactual schema has an underlying coherence and consistency. We see how faith-led social control seeks to dominate lives and minds — and why it may falter.” —Boyd Tonkin, UnHerd

“Buoyantly inventive from its ground-plan to its remotest pinnacles and twirly bits, Kingsley Amis’s new novel has almost nothing expectable about it, except that it is a study of tyranny.” —John Carey, New Statesman
“One of the best—possibly the best—alternate-worlds novels in existence.” —Philip K. Dick

“A masterpiece of its kind.” —William Gibson, The New York Times
The Green Man and The Alteration will retain their important places in the history of supernatural fiction and science fiction.” —Michael Dirda
“In one of his funniest novels, The Alteration, Kingsley Amis imagined a counterfactual world in which the Reformation had failed. Martin Luther had not plunged northern Europe into religious revolt, but instead became Pope Germanicus I. Prince Arthur of England did not die, so his odious brother Henry never became king. Henry’s malcontent Protestant followers, after an abortive rebellion, were banished to New England, where they eventually invented free trade, electricity and personal hygiene. So Europe in the 1960s groaned under a papistical Hapsburg tyranny. Harold Wilson was pope, dispensing tea in the Vatican (‘Shall we be mother?’), and papal scouts combed English cathedrals for likely singing boys who, after suitable surgery (‘The Alteration’), became castrati in the Sistine Chapel choir.” —Eamon Duffy, Sunday Times (UK)
“Amis, not content with writing scholarly treatments of the subject, produced a historical/futurological novel, The Alteration . . . I might add that the subject of sex in this work is introduced in the most radical and subversive way, though without the smallest hint of the pornographic.” —Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic Monthly

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