Have you read Tolstoy’s War and Peace?
Have you read Tolstoy’s War and Peace?
His espionage novel stolen by a celebrity ‘sweeper’ author—Archie Lees—embarks on a twelve-month odyssey for literary justice inside the dark worlds of Anglo-American publishing in London New York, Barcelona and Aigues-Mortes.
A century after Joyce let Leopold Bloom loose in Dublin, Alba unleashes Archie Lees and a supporting cast of post-Iliadian characters in twelve off-battlefield war-torn months of literary mania.
Excavating and ransacking the themes of plagiarism and literary influence, Lou Alba re-categorises categories⏤reanimating modernism, spiked realism, magic realism, poetry, pop, drama, cookbooks, diaries, how-to-books, history texts and postmodernist, metafictional novels⏤re-presenting 20th century writing in a ‘glittering array’ of literary experientialism, parodically defrocking the method and madness of major and minor literary techniques and reputations in one hundred years of writerly solitude.
Beneath this quixotic and playful novel that reveals a very deft hand at the pen is a significant novel that asks of itself the question that makes readers of lesser novels so often shake their heads: Does this work have any significance? Here we must emphatically nod
With tongue in cheek humor and a sly poke at genre fiction, literary untouchables and the publishing industry this book seems tailor made for smart praise. Even though I wasn’t able to pick out all the literary styles interwoven playfully within the book — and frankly at a certain point I was so into the story it didn’t matter — when I was able to pick up on an author or style it just added to the fun. Very impressed with the versatility of the prose and the ability to coopt all these writers and yet still make it all work within the story being told, a story that holds its own as a larky genre thriller with literary overtones and a lot of humor too. In the end all came off as clever parody. Especially enjoyed the “genre thriller” kick of the kidnapping and rescue of Ellen mirroring the story within the story within the story. Given the levels of literary byplay and the scope and ambition of the prose styles, the story is amazingly accessible. It even is a bit of a high concept as well — literary high concept (or highwire act) in which, while flawlessly speaking in all these different voices the book still tells a thoroughly enjoyable pulp story about stolen manuscripts and deferred vengeance in the volatile, cutthroat world of publishing. Making publishing a life and death enterprise is a nice conceit that allows all the tropes of detective and spy fiction to come into play and gives it much of its kicky fun. Bravo!
I found your book very refreshing..very readable but also so postmodern and referential. I delighted in your sources
The most original book I read this year – utterly compelling postmodernism’
Quite an extraordinary work. Initially the surreal plot threw me then I realized that the plot, the use of various styles and forms, present continuous, film scripts and cooking instructions etc, were creating a particular structure. Eventually, I concluded that it was some sort of a coded book, either intentionally or as some kind of experiment, which I failed to appreciate. Like most coded works, the book consists of two novels seamlessly interwoven. In this case the characters from at least one are able to inhabit the other. This is clear when you separate the two novels by the plot and other code markers. The two novels are quite different, and even seem to deal with different subjects and are sometimes contradictory. I have tried this coded thing but I used simple invisible multi-layering as you do when encoding engineering drawings. This form of yours is way beyond that. This is a very brave new world you have stepped into, or invented, a new realm
It reads like a splendidly maintained & protracted metafictional elaboration of the climactic shoot-out in the fun-fair corridor of mirrors at the end of Orson Welles’s ‘Lady from Shanghai’. I was glad to see refs. to ‘King of Comedy’, surely one of the last century’s vy best films …
‘Uncorrected Proof’ could be seen as a labyrinthically shaped many-dimensional map, pointing above and beyond itself by showing mirrored images of other places in literary time and space