So what is this novel? Well, it’s a kind of a collection of novellas — three, a science fiction novel taking place in the year 2000 as a giant planet called LYNX is coming unbearably close the Earth, threatening to destroy all life there and abscond with the moon while a high school teacher who first denies the existence of the planet is then mad that he won’t be selected to help with the solution to save humanity (escape on a kind of ark); the second, a libretto of a would-be opera about Trotsky’s early days in America after his exile from the Soviet Union; three, the end days of Freud as he is exiled and removed from Austria after the Nazi anschluss in the late 1930s.
All three of these are interwoven with section breaks, but not chapter breaks, sometimes jumping back and forth among the three on single pages. It’s always clear which one you’re reading, but it’s not entirely clear why and where.
So the novel itself begins with an introduction from a literary executor (unnamed) telling you about finding the papers of an author (also unnamed) and published what feels to be representative, but not connected works together in the same edition. As the novel itself begins winnowing to a close (not exactly drawing any but the science fiction novel to a close), it seems possible that there are more connections that were immediately present in the beginning.
It’s a very strange novel that I had NO clue was about when I jumped right in. I mostly picked it because of the author, the title, and the amazing cover.
Here’s a song that steals the same name: