Andrew Lycett

The Meaning of Nowhere

Hav

By

Faber & Faber 299pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

If I did not know better, I might have thought Jan Morris had been watching too many episodes of The Prisoner. Why else, after announcing her intention to stop writing books, has she again picked up her pen, returned to Hav, the fictional city-state she lovingly created twenty-one years ago, and refashioned it as a malign dystopia?

Portmeirion, the Welsh village where Patrick McGoohan’s television series was filmed, is situated not far from Morris’s fastness at Llanystumdwy. The Prisoner used Clough Williams-Ellis’s pastiche architecture as the backdrop for the sinister machinations of a Kafkaesque bureaucracy obscurely related to British intelligence.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,