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Ghost Cities - inspired by the vacant, uninhabited megacities of China - follows multiple narratives, including one in which a young man named Xiang is fired from his job as a translator at Sydney's Chinese Consulate after it is discovered he doesn't speak a word of Chinese and has been relying entirely on Google Translate for his work.


How is his relocation to one such ghost city connected to a parallel odyssey in which an ancient Emperor creates a thousand doubles of Himself? Or where a horny mountain gains sentience? Where a chess-playing automaton hides a deadly secret? Or a tale in which every book in the known Empire is destroyed - then recreated, page by page and book by book - all in the name of love and art?

... a surprising melange of wonder, intelligence and humour from the first pages to the last...


Lu has a brilliant mind for style, language, pace and ideas, and this is a funny and fascinating book that I can't wait to read again and again.

Tara June Winch, author of The Yield

I want to crumple this novel into a ball and swallow it, whole.

Hayley Scrivenor, author of Dirt Town

Siang Lu’s brain at play is a thing of wonder.

Kate Mildenhall, author of The Hummingbird Effect

A stunning piece of writing.

Nick Earls, author of Empires

Siang Lu's Ghost Cities is so incredible I invented time travel just so I could go into the future and read it.

Albert Einstein, 2024

Hoppla, I time travelled too far... Argh, my face! My faaaace!

Albert Einstein, 2938

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Recommended as one of The Guardian's books to look forward to in 2024 and Readings' Most Anticipated Books of 2024

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