The new novel by one of the most exciting and entertaining writers to have emerged from
Scotland in the past decade.
Is it possible for books to dream? For books to dream within books? Is there a
literary subterranea that would facilitate ingress and exit points through these
These are some of the questions posed by David Keenan's masterly fifth novel, Monument
Maker, an epic romance of eternal summer and a descent, into history, into the horrors of
the past; a novel with a sweep and range that runs from the siege of Khartoum and the
conquest of Africa in the 19th century through the Second World War and up to the
present day, where the memory of a single summer, and a love affair that took place
across the cathedrals of Ile de France, unravels, as a secret initiatory cult is uncovered
that has its roots in macabre experiments in cryptozoology in pre-war Europe.
MONUMENT MAKER straddles genres while fully embracing none of them, a book within a
book within a book that runs from hallucinatory historical epics through future-visioned
histories of the world narrated by a horribly disfigured British soldier made prophetic by
depths of suffering; books that interact with Keenan's earlier novels, including a return to
the mythical post-punk Airdrie landscape of his now classic debut, THis IS MEMORIAL
DEVICE; whole histories of art and religion; books that are glorious choral appendices;
bibliographies; imagined films; tape recorded interviews; building to a jubilant
accumulation of registers, voices and rhythms that is truly Choral.
Written over the course of 10 years, MONUMENT MAKER represents the apex of Keenan's
project to create books that contain uncanny life and feel like living organisms. It is a
meditation on art and religion, and on what it means to make monument; this great
longing for something eternal, something that could fix moments in time, forever.