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Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the books category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

Borges And The Eternal Orang-utans

I haven’t turned a page yet, but going by the dust-jacket precis, Borges And The Eternal Orang-utans, by Brazilan author, satirist and cartoonist Luis Fernando Verissimo, just has to be a fabulous novel:

Vogelstein is a loner who has always lived among books. Suddenly, fate grabs hold of his insignificant life and carries him off to Buenos Aires, to a conference on Edgar Allen Poe, the inventor of the modern detective story. There Vogelstein meets his idol, Jorge Luis Borges, and for reasons that a mere passion for literature cannot explain, he finds himself at the centre of a murder investigation that involves arcane demons, the mysteries of the Kaballah, the possible destruction of the world, and the Elizabethan magus John Dee’s “Eternal Orang-utan”, which would end up by writing all the known books in the cosmos.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blurb that lists quite so many things and people by which or with whom I have been horribly, horribly obsessed over the years. (Even Orang-utans! I loved those cheeky Sumatran hominidae, and they taught me never to say out loud words I have only read, after a childhood humiliation experience prompted by my repeatedly referring to them as orange you-tans.)

This, of course, means that the book is as likely to be a hideous disappointment as it is the perfect novel for me.

We shall see.

Posted at 9am on 14/06/04 by Jack Mottram to the books category.
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