Saturday, January 4, 2014


Michael MartoneMichael Martone by Michael Martone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A game of hide and seek where the reader is "it," and where Michael Martone chooses the most whimsical of hiding places. I'm sure there is truth here beyond that which is philosophical, but it hardly matters. Even when the author spins out such ludicrously banal biographical notes as the one that recounts an abridged history of ex-wives, ex-pets, and the accompanying oddball living arrangements (such as having resided for a time with his second wife in a remodeled congregational church), only to wind up an amateur archaeologist on the slopes of Vesuvius-- all this and more in roughly two pages-- Martone's fictional biographies are somehow warm and earthbound. For all its inventions and disguises, this collection of vignettes is never unduly fantastic. Even when Martone transforms into a giant insect in a riff on Kafka, the result is very human.

My first (literal?) foray into the author.

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