The Physiognomy by Jeffrey Ford

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At once luxurious and disturbing, this stunning novel presents a major new fabulist whose richly textured prose brings to mind such works as Franz Kafkas IN THE PENAL COLONY, George Orwells 1984, and other classics terrifying beauty.

He pries open the soul with each sweep of his calipers. For in the land of the Well-Built City, study of the bodys shape is a most exacting science. It can determine a persons character, uncover his deepest secrets, even foretell the future. And in the hands of an expert like Physiognomist Cley, this solemn intelligence delivers perfect justice form which fortunes are claimed or lost, careers are shaped or shattered, lives are continued or cut away. A man who commands such titanic forces may ignore the dark pools of arrogance and corruption which lie closer at hand--but only for a time. Very soon, Cley will discover the truth about himself and his profession, as his world of privilege dissolves into a nightmarish odyssey, careening toward a fate not even the great physiognomist can predict.


About Jeffrey Ford

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Jeffrey Ford is the author of three previous story collections and eight previous novels, including the Edgar(R) Award-winning The Girl in the Glass and the Shirley Jackson Award-winning The Shadow Year. A former professor of writing and early American literature, Ford now writes full-time in Ohio, where he lives with his wife.
Published September 1, 1997 by Avon Books (P). 218 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Humorless, inflexible, drug-addicted physiognomist Cley is ordered by Drachton Below, Master of the Well-Built City, to investigate a theft in the remote mining town of Anamasobia.

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Publishers Weekly

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Ruled by the Hitler-like Master Drachton Below according to the principles of Physiognomy (the ""science"" of judging the proportions of the flesh), the anti-utopian Well-Built City of Ford's goofily allegorical debut is already ripe for revolution when Below sends physiognomist Cley to the minin...

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SF Site

In the world of The Physiognomy, power doesn't corrupt, the corrupt are drawn to power.

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Location: UK Ive not heard of this author before, but the review did catch my attention.

May 14 2006 | Read Full Review of The Physiognomy


A nose to me was an epic, a lip, a play, an ear, a many-volumed history of mankind’s fall.” Once in Anamasobia, Cley has been directed to use his abilities to carry out an investigation into the disappearance of a mysterious fruit that was formerly enshrined in the church of Anamasobia and said ...

May 14 2006 | Read Full Review of The Physiognomy

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