Shadow Play

Rajorshi Chakraborti, Author
Rajorshi Chakraborti, Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-64234-1
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-3443-5
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Chakraborti (Or the Day Seizes You) alternates chapters from two books—the first a memoir by one Raj Chakraborti, the second a work of magic realism by Charles Robert Pereira, an Indian of Portuguese descent—in his metafictional second novel. An author of international acclaim, Raj explains the murder of an acquaintance and his own subsequent disappearance from the public eye in his "Uncollected Memories." The second, "The Perfect Worker," charts Pereira's unusual career. Together, the two narratives outline a vast, nonreligious conspiracy of shadowy power brokers who really rule the earth and issue fatwas when someone gets annoying. In an introductory note, Ellery King, the purported editor of this dual work, speculates on Raj's motives for combining the two. In an epilogue, Raj's ex-wife, Ana da Lima, observes that there's no reason to think that Raj is a reliable narrator. This lackluster homage to Salman Rushdie serves only to highlight how difficult it is to write either a successful thriller or a work of magic realism. (Aug.)
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