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Set in an alternate present that is a slightly, if dangerously, skewed version of our own, Keyhole Factory tracks the interwoven destinies of disparate characters up to and beyond the end of the world-as-we-know-it, brought on by a global super-virus.

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Beginning with a biting satire of an academic poetry conference, the novel moves on to encompass the stories of a poet-astronaut, a microbiologist contemplating an exit strategy from her high-level job designing biological weapons, a sports-car-driving killer who stages the aesthetic murders of utopian commune-dwellers, and a lone pirate radio disc jockey who may be the last person left alive broadcasting her story to nobody.

Allowing form and content to shape each other, William Gillespie pries open the confusion in a moment of total crisis through a narrative web-work technique derived from deranged fiction pioneer Harry Stephen Keeler. Part imaginative free-for-all and part deeply felt examination of isolation and survival, the individual lives in Keyhole Factory shine through the chaos in all their beauty and tragedy.

With his signature wit and originality, Gillespie spins a glittering fever-dream that questions our assumptions about the way we interpret events and our relation to the planet, without ever losing sight of the underlying experience of what it feels like to be a human being in the world we live in today. Read more Read less.

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Here's how restrictions apply. Start reading Keyhole Factory: A Novel on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 7 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Hearing The Keyhole Factory described as having glorious prose, I bought it, and soon I found that it has not only glorious prose, but imaginative and surprising juxtapositions, for instance, Gillespie has made one "keyhole" in which every passage begins "And the lights went out.

Gillespie also uses his skills and fun with "electronic writing" by creating texts in the shape of bubbles, a section to be read sideways, pages of multiple columns, all of which I assume to be glimpses through different keyholes. I've never adventured into such a world until I opened this book. I admire Gillespie's ingenuity as well as his glorious prose.

I recommend his book to anyone willing to step into the unknown and meet versions of the end of the world. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I actually read the whole book. Parts of it I thought were really great, a few parts got a thumbs down. Read it yourself even if you aren't William's sister!

Keyhole Factory: A Novel

If you like straight-narrative apocalyptic science fiction, you might find yourself "putting up with" some of the experimental writing to get your story. But, if you want both, this novel is going to scratch an itch you know you have but can rarely scratch. One person found this helpful. Just to provide some perspective: I rarely write online reviews. I don't have the patience. I'm making an exception in this case, because "Keyhole Factory" is an exceptional book. Having established that, let's begin.

First, the short version: Now, the longer version: Beginning an online review with a foreword followed by a version of the review in verse is a signal a clumsy one, perhaps that "Keyhole Factory" is an unconventional novel; in fact, it is an unabashed member of that species identified as postmodern. I've read some reviews of "Keyhole Factory" elsewhere online that dismiss the book because of its postmodern approach, and decry its use of--what are denigrated as--textual tricks and gimmicks.

But let's get real: ALL novels depend on tricks and gimmicks.

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Is there any trick larger or more common than the third person omniscient narrator, who supposedly has the god-like powers to perceive and then perfectly record the thoughts, actions, and words of any number of human beings and sometimes animals , creatures who furthermore, as the result of another trick, are not even real, but completely made up?

Or how about the first person narrator FPN gimmick that often depends on the idea that some people have perfect recall, the uncanny ability to accurately reproduce every conversation they have? And that's when the FPN deigns to write things down: As it turns out, there are some very good reasons why Gillespie has chosen the variety of tricks he has to tell his story.

Keyhole Factory: A Novel: William Gillespie: Books

Overall, this is worth a read. Jun 19, Bruce rated it liked it. This is a superb book except that half of it is not readable on my Kindle. The book shouldn't even be sold in ebook format, as the tabular formatting of parts of it, the collage format of some other parts, etc are just not readable. The half the book that was formatted for an ebook reader is great.

Very imaginative and well written.

Jul 02, Anne rated it it was ok. Jim recommended this book to me and it made clear to me that and I hate to admit this , I just don't like or "get" experimental fiction. Wish I did, kind of Jan 09, Janet rated it really liked it.

Keyhole Factory

Excellent end-of-the-world experimental literature. Pairs well with Talking Heads. Jan 09, Cam rated it it was ok Shelves: Set in a dangerous alternative America where all brakes are off corporations and governments, a lab develops the ultimate viral weapon, and cannot control it or maybe doesn't want to.

Chaos ensues, and we get to see how a few people experience it - from human test subjects to the lone astronaut returning from Alfa Centauri, broadcasting lonely poetry to an Earth that has disappeared during his expedition to test a planet-buster. Sounds more interesting than it was to read.

There were other future-building ideas, but this is mostly only vaguely related stories more often written to explore a poetical or literary idea. Not for everyone, but OK for people approaching sci-fi from the modern literary side. Feb 28, Aengus rated it liked it.

What begins as a dialogue on poetics quickly turns into a post apocalyptic parable. Multiple narrators tell the stories of their involvement in a n apocalypse caused by a genetically engineered virus. Some of it works, some doesn't. I'm not usually a fan of these things see the tedious "House of Leaves" , but when I could figure out which What begins as a dialogue on poetics quickly turns into a post apocalyptic parable.

I'm not usually a fan of these things see the tedious "House of Leaves" , but when I could figure out which narrator was speaking it was engaging.. Feb 12, Natasha Hurley-Walker rated it liked it. Would have preferred the connections between stories to be a little more explicit and the writing a shade less pretentious, but really it's just about right for post-literary post-apocalyptic post-modernism: Jan 24, Kathy rated it liked it Shelves: Like "World War Z" in that it is a dystopian story told from multiple voices, though in this case a bioweapon virus is spread by a disgruntled employee.

The various storylines interweave, along with the idea of people as viruses, or ideas good or bad or even language as viruses or parasites that need people to propagate. Feb 21, Caitlin Batstone rated it liked it. I have GOT to stop reading so much dystopian fiction.

I gave this 3 stars because I respected it, but didn't enjoy it. The experimental format either served no purpose, or was over my head.

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Dec 01, Melanie rated it it was amazing. Feb 21, Doug rated it it was amazing. Strange, in the best, most artistic way possible.

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Definitely an adventure worth taking. Tubakevin rated it did not like it Apr 25, Quinn rated it did not like it Mar 27, Lorna Scoggins rated it it was amazing Sep 07, Erika rated it really liked it Nov 18, Janna rated it it was ok Nov 29, Rand rated it it was amazing Jun 07, Petra rated it really liked it Mar 04, Chris rated it liked it Mar 31, Kathleen rated it really liked it Oct 24, Ulf Kastner rated it liked it Nov 06, Jessica rated it it was amazing Nov 24, Yoel Noreally rated it it was amazing Apr 22, Andy rated it liked it Jan 26, Philip Graham rated it it was amazing Jun 23, Ashley rated it liked it Mar 07, Austin rated it it was amazing Oct 14, Victoria Mall rated it liked it Nov 03, Mark rated it it was amazing Jan 31, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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