Andrew Lycett

The Meaning of Nowhere



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.

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