2012-06-08 13:52

It has swords in it.

Sergio de la Pava is Neal Stephenson with law and bullshit instead of computers and swords.

—Roberto Alsina

But there are also swords in A Naked Singularity!

—Levi Stahl

A while ago I finished reading "A naked singularity" by Sergio de la Pava.

If you have not read it, stop reading this now, take a week off and read it first. You may love me for telling you that, or you may hate me with the intensity of a thousand suns, but I doubt you will find it in you to say "meh" after you do.

I will try not to go into plot details, even though it's perhaps impossible to spoil this book. If I told you how it ends, it would not make any difference. If I told you about the chimp, or about the Casio Carousel, it may not matter. Or maybe it was a monkey, and the Carousel is done by Sony. Which it is, in the book. By Sony, not a monkey. I think.

Remember that kid in school that could tell the best jokes, and he did those funny voices? De la Pava writes in funny voices. And he breaks your heart with funny voices. His book doesn't meander, it goes straight and quick, determined and in a hurry right out to the middle of nowhere, then keeps going, goes offroad, keeps going, runs through a few walls, and comes back here, by just going and going. It has a motor, it has a rocket engine, it never blinks.

This book is ostensibly about a lawyer straying his path. It's probably written about something else. I have this strange feeling that most characters are imaginary, even though they talk and feel very real to me, who am writing this and thus am supposed to be more real than they are. It's hallucinatory gritty realism. It's poetic and technical. It's bullshit as an art form.

Which is, really, what attracted me to it. The dialog, the monologues, are to regular bullshit like fine dinners are to hot dogs. Sergio de la Pava may be the finest bullshit-giver in this blue planet of ours (take it from one dabbler in the art), and we are all lucky to have him writing.

UPDATE: How could I forget to mention that this book, this novel, has some of the best box writing since Mailer? It's an incredible feat, and I just forgot about it because there is so much stuff in it.

And yes, it has swords in it.


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