Published by Doubleday, May 1988
Deserted Cities of the Heart
Subterranean's "Definitive Edition" trade paperback is available from Amazon.
The first three chapters of the novel appeared, in slightly different form, as the following short stories (available to read or download on the Fiction Liberation Front):
The complete novel is available as a free PDF download on the Fiction Liberation Front site.
Quotes and Reviews
"With surpassing skill, Shiner creates a milieu of corruption, decay, and ultimate redemption—populated with a cast worthy of Robert Stone. This savagely written novel is a total original."
—James Ellroy, author of LA Confidential
"[Shiner's] narrative never flinches. It moves with precision from one point of view to another, breathing warmth and life into all the primary players—even the guy from Rolling Stone. The dialogue, especially among the central characters, is so convincing that their genuineness seems beyond question. I have never seen the pacing, the mood, the psychological intensity of individual scenes drawn any better than this."
—Richard Grant, Washington Post Book World
"It is both a taut political thriller and a transcendent apocalyptic fantasy...Shiner's prose is tight and controlled and he keeps the pace revved high...Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the novel is its sense of hopefulness. Full of violence and set at the beginning of the end of the world as we know it, Deserted Cities of the Heart nevertheless leaves the reader with the liberating notion that, even though history endlessly repeats itself, there may come a better time when guns and bullets do not matter."
—Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle