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Head of Zeus
Outside the Gates of Eden
08 Aug 2019 * HARDBACK * £25 * 9781789541137

A 1960s rock and roll magnum opus about three friends on the cusp of musical stardom.

Fiction / FA (Fiction)
Extent: 1008 pages  Format: 228 x 145 mm
Exclusive: GB AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: CA US
Outside the Gates of EdenLewis Shiner

'Generous but unflinching, sweeping but intimate, fictional but true' KAREN JOY FOWLER.

'A brilliant requiem for our generation and all our dreams' GEORGE R.R. MARTIN.

What happened to the idealism of the 1960s? This question has haunted a generation.

Outside the Gates of Eden follows two men from their first meeting in high school to their final destination in the 21st century. Alex is torn between his father's business empire and his own artistic yearnings. Cole, constantly uprooted in his childhood, finds his calling at a Bob Dylan concert in 1965.

From the Summer of Love in San Francisco to the Woodstock festival in upstate New York, from campus protests to the Soho art scene, from a communal farm in Virginia to the mariachis of Guanajuato, Mexico, the novel charts the rise and fall of the counterculture – and what came after.

Using the music business as a window into the history of half a century, Outside the Gates of Eden is both epic and intimate, starkly realistic and ultimately hopeful, a War and Peace for the Woodstock generation.

'Shiner displays the panoramic historical consciousness of a Pynchon or DeLillo, and yet every page is suffused with a humble and scrupulous humanity ... You simply live with his people and know them and love them' JONATHAN LETHEM.

'A page-turning tour de force. Anyone with a passion for rock and roll storytelling at its very best must not deny themselves the opportunity to read this tale. A masterpiece' IAIN MATTHEWS.

'A history of a generation seen through the lens of music' JOHN KESSEL.

Born in Texas, Lewis Shiner is a musician, rock music journalist and award-winning author, writing across genres. He has published six short stories collections and eight novels, including Glimpses, winner of the World Fantasy Best Novel Award.

Eight years in the making, this is Shiner's magnum opus.

Critically acclaimed author with excellent pre-pub blurbs.

A great American novel.

MARKET: Jonathan Franzen; Philip Roth; Donna Tartt.


'A story of the sixties that is generous but unflinching, sweeping but intimate, fictional but true. For everyone who's wondered how we got from there to here and also where we might go next. Hugely ambitious, simply beautiful' Karen Joy Fowler

'A powerful piece of work ... The prose is terrific, and the sense of time and place is first rate. A brilliant requiem for our generation and all our dreams' George R.R. Martin

'A history of a generation seen through the lens of music – but it's not just about music, but politics, sex, money, personal responsibility, idealism and corruption, youth and age' John Kessel

'A page-turning tour de force. Anyone with a passion for rock and roll storytelling at its very best must not deny themselves the opportunity to read this tale. A masterpiece' Iain Matthews

'In Outside the Gates of Eden Lewis Shiner displays the panoramic historical consciousness of a Pynchon or DeLillo, and yet every page is suffused with a humble and scrupulous humanity, scrubbed of abstractions or grandiosity – you simply live with his people and know them and love them' Jonathan Lethem

'An engrossing and realistic novel about such important matters as the passage of time, the disappointment of hope and the role of music in society' Times Literary Supplement

'From Woodstock to the age of Trump, this sprawling, ambitious novel straddles half a century ... It is a seductive, effortless read and Shiner's brio as a storyteller never flags' Mail on Sunday

'Absolutely bloody fantastic ... Hugely uplifting, terribly sad, totally brilliant' Weekend Sport

'A poignant and powerful swansong to the end of the twentieth century, to the demise of the wide-eyed, often drug-fuelled, innocence of the Summer of Love and Woodstock; an elegy to ideals and dreams lost. This is one of those rare books that fills me with awe and envy in equal measure' Matthew Harffy.

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