Have you ever felt the joy of locking your door behind you and shutting the world out? Feeling the relief of aloneness and privacy? What if there might be someone there, watching you. But you can't see them. What if you could never be sure? How would you feel?
The author seemed able to take the familiar feelings of being ignored, disenfranchised, excluded, feeling as if you somehow live in a parallel world unable to take part in the world proper, and elevate these to an art form. the characters have the necessary despair and desolation in their spirits to convince you and have the appearance of living reasonably normal lives. However, they don't. The work is perhaps something of an allegory in that the characters experience some of the same problems with which we are all familiar, although to a pathological degree.
The book starts slowly but quickly becomes very compelling and, while being typical of Chris Priest's work insofar as it's low key in it's method, it's frightening in its implications and builds to a terrifying conclusion. I was able easily to suspend my disbelief and was for a while afterwards visited by disquieting thoughts similiar to those provoked when I first read 1984.
Tremendously enjoyable and a very good work.