So I finished up the last book I was reading and just picked up Victor LaValle’s Big Machine at the library. I tend to pretty much stick to non-fiction unless I am reading short stories, but occasionally I break up the routine with a work of fiction.
A fiendishly imaginative comic novel about doubt, faith, and the monsters we carry within us.
Ricky Rice was as good as invisible: a middling hustler, recovering dope fiend, and traumatized suicide cult survivor running out the string of his life as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York. Until one day a letter appears, summoning him to the frozen woods of Vermont. There, Ricky is inducted into a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom had at some point in their wasted lives heard The Voice: a mysterious murmur on the wind, a disembodied shout, or a whisper in an empty room that may or may not be from God.
Evoking the disorienting wonder of writers like Haruki Murakami and Kevin Brockmeier, but driven by Victor LaValle’s perfectly pitched comic sensibility Big Machine is a mind-rattling literary adventure about sex, race, and the eternal struggle between faith and doubt.
Despite what this may or may not say about me, the truth is: I judge books by their covers. Say what you want, it’s true. For me. I was drawn to this cover and something a bout the description on the inside of the book jacket was reminicent of my favotie book of all-time, Horace Afoot. I checked it out and on my way back to the office noticed one of the blurbs on the back was from Mos Def.
“Gabriel Garcia Marquez mixed Edgar Allen Poe, but more than that. Big Machine is like nothing I’ve ever read, incredibly human and alien at the same time.”
I cracked the book over lunch and within the first page and a half was hooked. Both story-wise and stylistically. I can already tell I am going to love this.
I always glance at Amazon reviews, usually after I have picked a book, and although they are few they are glowing.
Makes me want to check out other books LaValle has written.