The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason


underneath the cleverness and the copulating mirrors and the labyrinth architecture–of which there’s admirably much–there’s a melancholic source to all these odyssey-reflecting tales (victor of last year’s penultimate starcherone fiction contest). all its revelations–the gods’ winner’s blues, the existential angst of the ancients, the mundane provenance of legends–are told with a wistful and appropriately epic heaviness.

how he wrings from the original more and more and more… and yet the world isn’t exactly enlarged or reduced… i don’t know exactly how to describe it, but the accomplishment is something like adding (seemingly) infinite perspectives to an unchanging object… calvino’s invisible cities and queneau’s exercises in style are close kin.

its main accomplishment? how it shows us we are, even within our mortal limits, inexhaustible. its main drawback? for me, that it goes on a touch too long and lets the (illusion of) inexhastible-ness falter at the end. but that’s a quibble. try it mikey you might like it.

[somewhat expanded version of the above published here.]

Consume directly from Starcherone Press.

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