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The Mad Patagonian

Guest Post: LARRY RILEY's review of The Mad Patagonian by Javier Pedro Zabala

I'll start by saying that I think it's unfortunate that JAVIER PEDRO ZABALA never had a chance to see his work published. The Mad Patagonian (apparently his one and only work) is a massive and extraordinary 1,210 pages of great literature that spans centuries, continents and cultures, yet seemingly without effort, manages to link them all together seamlessly. The Mad Patagonian is one of the rare works of literature that has multiple philosophical, political and narrative and historical dimensions that are all powerfully and equally matched.

Stylistically, Zabala's writing is a composite of multiple influences ... whether reminiscent of specific writers or particular genres, it is always maintaining an utterly modern tone.  From book to book (and there are nine books of varying lengths divided into three parts that comprise the text of The Mad Patagonian) these influences arrived one right after another and, to me, looked like this:
Roberto Bolano—which shouldn't surpr…

Stella Artois is a Brilliant Beer, but The Mad Patagonian is a Better Book

Non-breezy Summer Reading: Overlooked Books from the 20th Century, Year by Year (a working evolving list in progress)

Currently reading The Mad Patagonian by Javier Pedro Zabala

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The Suspect by L. R. Wright

Tara Henley on Emily Witt's Future Sex

William T. Vollmann ephemera from his publisher for the The Rifles

A. M. Homes' autograph (Jack)

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Rick Harsch's autograph (Arjun & the Good Snake...)

The Adept by Michael McClure

Steve Erickson's autograph & inscription to Frances Kroll Ring (The Sea Came In At Midnight)

The Island of the Dead by Lya Luft