Outside the Gates of Eden cover

Subterranean Press, May, 2019

Outside the Gates of Eden

Outside the Gates of Eden is a beautiful signed, limited edition from Subterranean Press. The dust jacket photo, "First Tipi at Woodstock, 1969" is (c) Lisa Law and used with her permission.

It's also been published in the UK by Head of Zeus.

Here's an HTML preview from the Woodstock section of the book.

Quotes and Reviews

"Outside the Gates of Eden is a powerful piece of work. Shiner writes about music, and the making of music, better than anyone I know. He gets across the tremendous excitement of the early days of rock and roll, the peace movement, Woodstock and the Summer of Love´┐Żbut also the heartbreak of failure, betrayal, and loss. 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, author of A Game of Thrones

"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, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

"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. Shiner's interest in the way the world actually works—how people write a song, or learn to dance, or play cards, or write a dissertation, or raise a kid—reminds me of Howard Hawks or John D. Macdonald; this book's vision is similarly rooted in a retrieval of those gritty, egalitarian virtues that can make you (still) willing to somehow get up in the morning and face it all."

—Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn

"Lewis Shiner's Glimpses made me a lifelong fan. His new novel, Outside the Gates of Eden, is 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, of Fairport Convention and Matthews Southern Comfort

"Few works of fiction are convincingly set in the world of rock music, and fewer still evoke coming of age in the 1960s with journalistic authenticity and painstakingly accurate detail. With Outside the Gates of Eden, Lewis Shiner not only pulls off these difficult feats, he also brings his characters forcefully into our present age, fearlessly probing their roads to blending their fiery idealism with the hard-gained wisdom of experience."

—Richie Unterberger, author of Turn! Turn! Turn!: The 1960s Folk-Rock Revolution

"[A] sprawling generational novel...Over hundreds of winningly spun pages,...it holds its energy without flagging, and every note sounds true."

Kirkus Reviews

"Absolutely bloody fantastic....This is Shiner's semi-autobiographical masterpiece about those dubbed the Woodstock Generation....Hugely uplifting, terribly sad, totally brilliant."

—Jon Wise, Weekend Sport (UK)

"Outside the Gates of Eden is an epic, sprawling double gatefold concept album of a novel. It is a poignant and powerful swansong to the end of the twentieth century, to the demise of wide-eyed, often drug-fuelled innocence of the Summer of Love and Woodstock; an elegy to ideals and dreams lost. But through it all, like a pounding John Bonham stomp groove, the enduring power of music and love to redeem us all flows through the heart of the story....Lewis Shiner writes with incredible precision and feeling. With seeming effortlessness he captures the ecstatic joy of live performance, and the rush that comes when music and words slot together perfectly to produce something magical in song writing and recording. His passion for music oozes from every page, but above that, his compassion for the characters drives the narrative and makes the book difficult to put down."

—Matthew Harffy, author of the Dark Ages historical novels

"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."

The Mail on Sunday (UK)

"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."

—Robert Drapers, Times Literary Supplement (UK)

"The 800+ pages flow effortlessly, and I can't recall ever having read such a lengthy book so quickly. The characters breathe and bleed, make love and make music, and become altogether real....I hesitate to single out any single work of fiction as 'the voice of a generation,' but what Shiner has done here comes as close as anything I've ever read to capturing the spirits and the stories of those of us who grew up during that time. A classic."

—Chet Williamson on amazon.com

"Lewis Shiner's Outside the Gates of Eden is an epic read about the United States' society from the mid-1960s until now, seen through the lens of a long friendship. It covers the '60s music revolution and explores changes in American values since then. It's been compared to the work of Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon and I stayed up far too late over many nights to finish it. A truly great American novel."

—Jan Smedh, Qantas Magazine

"By far the biggest book on the list, it needed to be to tell an epic, personal novel of the rise and fall of idealism across 60s and 70s music and society. Shiner is one of the few writers to get this right."

—Kevin McVeigh, The Books of 2019

 

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