Archive for August 1st, 2017

I just finished this yesterday and I still have a weird taste in my mouth.  Not metaphorically — I mean I literally have a weird taste my mouth, like I’ve been burping up kimchee and Miracle Whip.  It’s not really unpleasant, just disorienting.  Which is not a bad one-word encapsulation of La Farge’s ambitious and engaging novel.   A plot summary would be a ridiculous and futile undertaking.  The book begins with the disappearance of a H.P. Lovecraft scholar from a psychiatric hospital and the subsequent discovery of his clothing abandoned at the edge of a lake.  This is the trigger for an extended meditation on identity, art, truth, genre, fandom, popular culture, and obsession that ranges from Belsen to Mexico City, whose bit players include Isaac Asimov and William Burroughs.  Although played completely deadpan, there are a lot of deep chuckles to be found here layered in with the strange, especially for readers who have been marinated in the history of science fiction, fantasy, and horror in 20th Century America.  Highly recommended.

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