Thursday, 14 January 2010

'The Carpet Makers' - Andreas Eschbach

'KNOT AFTER KNOT, DAY IN, day out, for an entire lifetime, always the same hand movements, always looping the same knots in the fine hair, so fine and so tiny that with time, the fingers trembled and the eyes became weak from strain-and still the progress was hardly noticeable.'

I first read this book three years ago, just after my son Bruce was born. It was the book I read during his first two weeks of freedom from the womb and, in between the nappies and the milk, I sat with my son in my arms and read The Carpet Makers.

I'll let the description blurb from www.amazon.co.uk explain this book to you - 'Since the time of prehistory, carpet makers have tied intricate knots to form carpets for the court of the Emperor. These carpets are made from the hairs of their makers' wives and daughters; they are so detailed and fragile that each carpet- maker finishes only one single carpet in his entire lifetime. This art has descended from father to son since the beginning of time itself. But, one day, the empire of the God Emperor vanishes... and strangers begin to arrive from the stars in search of the hair carpets. What these strangers discover is beyond all belief, more than anything they could have ever imagined... '

A string of open-ended and seemingly unconnected stories are - dare I use the pun - 'woven' together to create a universe so compelling, so shocking, that it is only now that I have decided to pick it up and read it again. I can't recommend this book enough. Andreas Eschbach is an excellent writer and I am definitely going to hunt down more of his work.