Downriver, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Downriver is a brilliant London novel by its foremost chronicler, Iain Sinclair.

It is the winner of the Encore award and the James Tait Black memorial prize.

The Thames runs through Downriver like an open wound, draining the pain and filth of London and its mercurial inhabitants.

Commissioned to document the shifting embankments of industry and rampant property speculation, a film crew of magpie scavengers, high-rent lowlife, broken criminals and reborn lunatics picks over the rivers detritus.

They examine the wound, hoping to expose the cause of the city's affliction..."Remarkable: part apocalyptic documentary, part moth-eaten ghost story, part detective story.

Inventive and stylish, Sinclair is one of the most interesting of contemporary novelists". (Sunday Times). "One of those idiosyncratic literary texts that revivify the language, so darn quotable as to be the reader's delight and the reviewer's nightmare". (Guardian). "Crazy, dangerous, prophetic". (Angela Carter). Iain Sinclair is the author of Downriver (winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award); Landor's Tower; White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings; Lights Out for the Territory; Lud Heat; Rodinsky's Room (with Rachel Lichtenstein); Radon Daughters; London Orbital, Dining on Stones, Hackney, that Rose-Red Empire and Ghost Milk.

He is also the editor of London: City of Disappearances.




Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

If ever a book was a boxing match, this is the one. I've emerged from twelve punishing rounds aching and bruised, nursing injuries which I have no recall of sustaining. This is a monster of a book that envelopes you, pulls you down into the rancid soft mud at the bottom of the Thames and beats your brains out. It is glorious - stuffed with luminescent similes and remorseless grime. Here is a London that no amount of spit and wash can cleanse from your teeth. The narrative is broken and difficult to follow, as though you are being dragged through it unwillingly drugged up to the eyeballs. Wherever you have landed up, gagged and bound, dumped out of the noisome boot of a beat-up gear-crunching sixties Ford - beware, the tide is rising, an ooze of fetid sediment is creeping into your nostrils and those goons may not yet be gone.

Also by Iain Sinclair   |  View all