The Dimensions of a Cave

A Novel

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Pub Date 24 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2023

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Description

Named a Best Book of 2023 by The New Yorker

A virtuoso journey into networks of power, our embroilment with new technologies, and the dangers of corruption, by an electrifying debut novelist.

When the investigative reporter Quentin Jones’s story about covert military interrogation practices is buried, he is spurred to dig deeper and unravels a trail that leads to VIRTUE: cutting-edge technology that simulates reality during interrogation.

As the shadowy labyrinths of governmental corruption unfurl and tighten around him, unnerving links to his protégé Bruce—who, like Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz, disappeared into the war several years earlier—keep emerging.

Greg Jackson’s The Dimensions of a Cave explores our drive toward war, violence, and venality, placing humanity and idealism under the spotlight.

Named a Best Book of 2023 by The New Yorker

A virtuoso journey into networks of power, our embroilment with new technologies, and the dangers of corruption, by an electrifying debut novelist.

When...


A Note From the Publisher

Greg Jackson is author of Prodigals: Stories, for which he received the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 award and the Bard Fiction Prize. In 2017, he was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. His fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, Tin House, Vice, Conjunctions, Virginia Quarterly Review, the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Guardian, among other places.

Greg Jackson is author of Prodigals: Stories, for which he received the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 award and the Bard Fiction Prize. In 2017, he was named one of Granta's Best...


Advance Praise

“Greg Jackson is an athletically talented writer who packs so much into every single sentence and scene it almost scares me. His debut novel is somehow both a hardboiled thriller and a philosophical treaty with dialogues that would make Sorkin blush.” —Catherine Lacey, author of Biography of X

"Greg Jackson’s first novel, after his terrific story collection Prodigals, is an ambitious and challenging work about the lies that men and journalism and government tell about each other and themselves. If Bob Woodward were to find himself in a 21st century Pynchon novel, this might well be the result." —Keith Gessen, author of A Terrible Country

“Greg Jackson’s The Dimensions of a Cave is, sentence to sentence, a linguistic marvel, a genre-bending tale with moral and philosophical stakes as profound as they come.” —Dinaw Mengestu, author of All Our Names

The Dimensions of a Cave tells a very contemporary story about surveillance capitalism, virtual reality, and 21st-century forever war, but it will still be read a century from now for the news it brings about the timeless riddle of the human self. That sounds like dust-jacket hyperbole, I know, but this book seems as likely to last as anything I’ve read in years. It’s increasingly rare these days to find a novelist with Greg Jackson’s world-swallowing ambition, and rarer still for one to make good on that ambition as gloriously as Jackson does here.” —Chris Beha, author of The Index of Self-Destructive Acts

“Greg Jackson is an athletically talented writer who packs so much into every single sentence and scene it almost scares me. His debut novel is somehow both a hardboiled thriller and a philosophical...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780374298494
PRICE $30.00 (USD)
PAGES 480

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Average rating from 5 members


Featured Reviews

Greg Jackson’s debut novel, “The Dimensions of A Cave” is a spot-on story for our times. We are experiencing an age where many believe that we are living in a simulation, while many others can’t wait until we get deeper in there. Jackson crafts a speculative narrative that provides plenty of food for thought.

“The Dimensions of A Cave” is a whole lot of book. There is more depth and detail (Philosophy, History, Politics, Science, Religion, Art, Academia, Defense Contracting) than I was expecting. That all works for me. But Jackson keeps it flowing throughout. The dialogue is consistently laugh-out-loud funny. The clever banter, the give-and-take between journalists, academics, scientists, spies and thieves, the dive bar vibe, and the plight of the squatters is all wonderful.

There are so many twists and turns that I wasn’t always sure just where I was but, in a strange sense, it didn't really matter. All the set scenes were carefully crafted, screenplay ready, and a hoot to read.

At the end of the day Jackson poses some serious questions: Who are we? Do we have/want agency? Is it possible that the next step in our obsession with domination leads to a world where Generative Artificial Intelligence technology creates simulacrums of Virtual Reality where the line between real and imaginary is blurred, if not wiped out completely? Are we just pawns that the powers that be move around their chessboard to maintain and grow their wealth and power?

“The Dimensions of A Cave” is a deeply subversive novel, well worth the effort for the serious reader.

Thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for the eARC.

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The Dimensions of a Cave starts with a poem and reads like one. It's dripping noir style, with flecks of Hunter S Thompson, or William S. Burroughs. The luxurious descriptions, and freeflowing style reminds me of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, which Woolf called not a novel but a "playpoem". The Dimensions of a Cave is far more considered than that, but the words and ideas still flow and cascade into one another, rising and falling in intensity like ocean tides. It's this misty, pleasant feeling that suffuses Dimensions-- and beyond the crime and drama, this is the true draw for the book.

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