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


7th November 2013: “American smoke” is out!

proof cover of 'American Smoke

proof cover of ‘American Smoke by Anonymous Bosch

Austerlitz & After: Tracking Sebald in pre-order

Test Centre presents Iain Sinclair’s new booklet Austerlitz & After: Tracking Sebald, available to pre-order now.

An unused, adapted section from Iain’s forthcoming book American Smoke (due to publishing in November 2013), it recounts an East London walk in the late German author’s footsteps. In the company of Sebald’s friend, the poet Stephen Watts, the narrative moves from Liverpool Street through Spitalfields to the Jewish burial grounds at Brady Street and Alderney Road, considering along the way Sebald in life – his experience of London, his writing methods, and his residence in Norwich – and in death.Simultaneously it tells of Iain’s history in the same terrain, whilst through its use of images (a nod to Sebald) it provides an insight into his approach to composition. His American adventure flanked by the tale of the actress Gemma McCluskie, finally discovered in the Regent’s Canal, he attempts to write himself out of his locale.Austerlitz & After is available in an edition of 300 copies, of which 26 have buckram covers, are lettered and contain additional holographic material from Iain. Standard edition copies will be dispatched on 8th April, while special edition will follow later that week.

To pre-order and for more information, please visit: http://www.testcentre.org.uk/publications.html

“American smoke” to be published on November 7th 2013

“I have just heard that there is a new publication date for ‘American Smoke’: November 7.”

Iain Sinclair

proof cover of 'American Smoke

proof cover of ‘American Smoke by Anonymous Bosch

[closed] Guess who the people in this photo are and win a signed copy of SEVERAL CLOUDS COLLIDING, new book by Brian Catling & Iain Sinclair


Another one of my long overdue updates.

The context was closed back in August 2012, when Iain received the correct answer from a reader who received the book.

The correct answer:

stewart home

ken kesey

brian catling

bill drummond

ken babbs

ken campbell

mark manning


iain sinclair

Apologies for the long delay.


Continue reading [closed] Guess who the people in this photo are and win a signed copy of SEVERAL CLOUDS COLLIDING, new book by Brian Catling & Iain Sinclair