Farne Sinclair’s podcast “In Tropical Lands”

Farne Sinclair, Iain’s daughter, has started a podcast titled “In Tropical Lands”. In her own words:

I have always been haunted by my great great grandfather Arthur Sinclair. These podcasts are the story of a journey to the Peruvian Amazon with my father, retracing Arthur’s steps and his expedition of 1891. This journey inspired Iain Sinclair’s book, “The Gold Machine” and Grant Gee’s film of the same name. These are the conversations we had along the way, with each other and those we met, as we discovered the forgotten legacy of the British Peruvian Corporation, and heard first hand from the Asheninka tribes who live there still.


Link to the podcast:



Zoom talk for the Blake Society on Wednesday 15 September 2021 at 20.00

Blake’s Mental Traveller and The Gold Machine.
An improvised talk about how a Blake poem, retrieved from his notebooks, fair-copied and preserved in the ‘Pickering Manuscript’, became the road map and model for a lifetime of journeys and pilgrimage quests. ‘The Mental Traveller’, first encountered as a schoolboy, was an awakening, a mesmerising rhythmic cycle to be experienced but not yet understood. The poem returned at various points in the years that followed. Until it was acknowledged as the secret code for The Gold Machine, a late-life expedition to one of the sources of the Amazon, undertaken in company with my daughter, and in the footsteps of my great-grandfather, who published an account of his adventure in 1895.

The World’s End – walking with Iain Sinclair in Tilbury – by John Rogers

John Rogers has posted one of his filmic rambles, in which we struck out from Tilbury, in the direction of Stanford-le-Hope (once the home of Joseph Conrad). We discussed the germination of The Gold Machine and the start of my London adventures, from the same spot, many years ago, with Downriver. John works wonders in finessing a random walk into a form of topographic coherence in just seven days (in whatever time he manages to salvage from the day job).




A chapbook by Kevin Ring has just been published: THE GOLD MACHINE BEATS: A JUNGLE DEATH PHOTO ALBUM, an edition of 125 copies all signed by Iain.

The chapbook is £8.50 including post in the UK.

15 Euros to Europe and $20 USA and rest of the world.

If interested, email Kevin at kevbeatscene (at) gmail.com

Go to this page and scroll down, you’ll find it.






Early Reviews for THE GOLD MACHINE

Iain has kindly shared some reviews of the upcoming book The Gold Machine. 


‘Swapping London for Lima, Hackney for Huancayo, in an unexpected departure from more familiar territory, The Gold Machine tracks a feverish descent into the darkness of Peru’s colonial past, as Sinclair follows in the footsteps of his nineteenth-century forbear. Written with his customary linguistic flair, this is a vivid and revealing addition to a unique body of work.’

– Merlin Coverley, author of Psychogeography


‘Excavator, outlier, alchemist. Sinclair’s formidable gaze turns backwards, forwards and touchingly inwards. A father-daughter pilgrimage to the rapids and along the bloodline: panning for salt, coffee, gold, misdeeds, consequences, presence, absence, family…and self. Disarmingly tender, generous and brimming. A book of wonder (noun and verb), from first word to last I was agog.’

– Keggie Carew, author of Dadland


‘Like Fitzcarraldo carrying a boat over mountains to fabulous worlds, Sinclair backpacks all the known legends, skeletons and lies, to tightrope a lurching dazzling bridge between generations. His, ours and those to come. Splendid in corruption. Wealthy in shock. This is the invaders’ New Testament. Jamming gold coins in our eyes for lenses, leaving nothing to pay the boatman, because after this reads you, there is no place to go. A masterpiece.’

– B. Catling, author of The Vorrh Trilogy


‘Sinclair is the laureate of the peripatetic and The Gold Machine is his Heart of Darkness. It is the brilliantly written narrative of a long, dark journey into his own familial past. The magic begins on page 1 and continues to its end.’ 

– Duncan Wu, Raymond A. Wagner Professor of Literature, Georgetown University

‘Follow Iain Sinclair into the cloud jungles of Peru and emerge questioning all that seemed so solid and immutable. The Gold Machine made me angry, sad, envious of Sinclair’s beautiful, evocative prose and grateful that I did not have to endure a soroche headache to gain a new understanding of colonial attitudes and the damage we have done.’

– Barry Miles


‘Iain Sinclair remains the reigning ambassador from the kingdom of books, a fifty-year argument for the practice and legitimacy of writing. The Gold Machine extends the argument. Sinclair and his daughter travel to Peru and re-create the colonial expedition of his great-grandfather, pathways laid out in the forgotten ancestor’s published works. This is what the template has always been, will always be. Find an old book, absorb its secret message, go outside and destroy yourself in its service. Brilliant.’

– Jarett Kobek, author of I Hate the Internet


‘This is some of the best prose Sinclair has ever written – its poetic playfulness always in energetic tandem with razor-sharp observation. The book also transcends the genres you throw at it. It is a post-colonial essay haunted, if not deeply disturbed, by what the complex literary spirits of Conrad, Poe, Burroughs, Ginsberg and Ed Dorn bring to the party, a peripatetic séance in Amazonia often rudely interrupted by reality. This is an enthralling read.’

– Paul Tickell, film-maker and journalist


‘Ceylon, Australia and Peru, as well as Dundee, Maesteg and, of course,  Hackney too. The Gold Machine thrusts a sharp and revealing probe into the not always leafy heartlands of Britain’s imperial past. Perfect reading for anyone keen to understand how this history continues to weigh on the present, and a prophetic last word for those Brexit-crazed champions of “unwoke” England who refuse to accept that it is over.’

– Patrick Wright, Professor (emeritus) of Literature, History and Politics, King’s College London


‘This book is further proof that, when he leaves London, Iain Sinclair’s gifts of observation expand to suit his subject. In The Gold Machine he follows the psychic and physical resonances of a visionary ancestor through the personal origin myth he has explored in poetry and prose all his life. Marshalling his exceptional skills of social observation and narrative, Britain’s finest modern essayist strides South. Travelling with his daughter Farne he conducts an elegiac dialogue between generations and sinks into the deep past, making profound associations, travelling back and forth in time through a rapidly changing Peru on the trail of the mysterious Arthur Sinclair.’

– Michael Moorcock


‘In this magnificent book, Iain Sinclair and his daughter follow their culpable, intrepid ancestor into Peru, towards a coffee-black heart of colonial darkness. Of course the old man is looking for gold, and finding it, on every page, in every line. A sultry masterpiece.’

– Alan Moore