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Dexter Palmer. Pantheon, $27.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-307-90759-2
Palmer’s lengthy, complex, highly challenging second novel is more brilliant than his debut, The Dream of Perpetual Motion. Philip Steiner is working to develop a causality-violation device—a machine that will make it possible to visit and interact with the past. Meanwhile, Philip’s wife, Rebecca Wright, an employee at an online dating company, must cope with past tragedy. Far more than a standard-model time travel saga, this science thriller deals with love, politics, history, loss, tragedy, bonding, craft beers, jogging, Internet dating, alcoholism, temptation, sin, redemption, rock ’n’ roll, jazz, Rudolph Fisher, and gourmet cooking. It takes place in the very near future, or perhaps in a slightly variant universe where reality can vary from one moment to the next. Is that really Ronald Reagan’s face on a $20 bill, or the face of another president (definitely not Andrew Jackson)? Humorous set pieces include an utterly hilarious cocktail party set in a luxurious high-rise condo overlooking New York’s Central Park. Palmer earned his doctorate from Princeton with a thesis on the works of James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, and William Gaddis. This book stands with the masterpieces of those authors. Agent: Susan Golomb, Writers House. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/14/2015
Release date: 02/23/2016
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-307-95035-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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