A deeply affecting chronicle of a lifelong partnership, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders is by turns generous, unsparing and bursting with life (and sex) in all its difficult, rousing, prismatic splendor. A truly staggering achievement, this moving novel underscores why Delany remains essential reading and why American letters would be the poorer without him.
An imposing and immersive novel punched me in the face, and kissed me, and filled my lungs this year. It is a deeply pornographic and sympathetic experience that disturbs (expect a barrage of all sorts of non-normative sex and a total re-evaluation of narrative structure), gratifies (expect an in-depth journey with a cast of characters that you will come to know and love in such a way you thought impossible in contemporary fiction), and enlightens . . . The importance of this book CANNOT be overstated. It is the best LGBT book that was published this year, as well as the best book, period, that was published this year, as well as . . . the best book written in the 21st century so far . . .
Samuel R. Delany’s new novel, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, is over 800 pages, which makes it the longest book he has ever written (even longer than Dhalgren). It is also one of the best novels by anyone that I have read in quite a long time. Indeed, I would go so far as to say (as I already put it on Twitter) that it is the best English-language novel that I know of, of the 21st century so far.
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