South is a hallucinatory reimagination of life in a world under totalitarianism, and an individual’s quest for truth, agency, and understanding.
“A quiet meditation on imagination and reality, absence and presence, and the world around us. Lakghomi achieves a poetic and hypnotic effect with his tightly constructed, spare prose.” — Brandon Hobson, author of The Removed “A Lynchian descent into the paranoia and alienation of totalitarianism, South is a haunting and dreamlike novel” — SHELF AWARENESS
B, a journalist, travels to the South of an unnamed desert country for a mysterious mission to write a report about the recent strikes on an offshore oil rig. From the beginning of his trip, he is faced with a cruel and broken landscape of drought and decay, superstitious believers of evil winds and spirits, and corrupt entities focused on manipulation and censorship. As he tries to defend himself against his unknown enemies, we learn about his father’s disappearance, his fading love with his wife, and his encounter with an unknown woman. A puzzle-like novel about totalitarianism, surveillance, alienation, and guilt that questions the forces that control us.
A RARE MACHINES BOOK
Babak Lakghomi is the author of Floating Notes. His fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, NOON, Ninth Letter, New York Tyrant, and Green Mountains Review, and has been translated into Italian and Farsi. Babak was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and writes in Toronto.
Disguised as a high concept page-turner akin to Enrique Vila-Matas and Paul Auster, Babak Lakghomi's slyly subversive and uncanny novel, South, is pure sublime. Packed full of complex silence, sex, deceit, erasure, captivity, dreamlife, memory, and yes, despair, it wastes no syllable while wading neck-deep into its own conspiracy, remembering just in time to come back up for air where others drown.
Blake Butler, author of Aannex
A Lynchian descent into the paranoia and alienation of totalitarianism, South is a haunting and dreamlike novel.
Evocative ... the fast pace will keep readers hooked.
A quiet meditation on imagination and reality, absence and presence, and the world around us. Lakghomi achieves a poetic and hypnotic effect with his tightly constructed, spare prose.
Brandon Hobson, author of The Removed
Babak Lakghomi is a visionary artist and masterful guide into and beyond the labyrinth containing all the unnameable and undefinable problems of our universe, our world, our little lives, waking and dreaming. South is another brilliant novel from an author who astounds me.
Bud Smith, author of Teenager
As alluring as it is disquieting, with the strange and haunting visuals of an Andrei Tarkovsky film and the enigmatic feel of a novel by Italo Calvino.
Amina Cain, author of A Horse at Night
Lakghomi has included so many layers in South, the effect is hallucinatory, a sublime trip, one full of terror and wonder.
With a narrative style that is tight, almost skeletal in nature, South moves at a steady pace, growing increasingly distorted and claustrophobic ... every word counts.
With South, Lakghomi proves himself to be a master of the minimal. South uses sparseness to elevate and intensify suspense. It manages the mysterious and paranoid in such a way that what results is a literary page-turner, even when you want to linger and savour the language.
South is an exceptional example of how the personal and political, when intimately entwined, make for a deeply compelling, even necessary read.
Thrilling and disquieting, South is a disorienting, cerebral novel that meditates on state surveillance.
South is a muted industrial thriller with mystic bits splashed throughout. Babak Lakghomi has taken the quick, minimal aspects of his early novella and extended them into another enigmatic, unnerving hypothetical.
Heavy Feather Review
His portrait of a totalitarian nation-state, where the truth is fungible and selfhood is a luxury, is as surreal as it is nightmarish.