cover image Same Same

Same Same

Peter Mendelsund. Vintage, $16.95 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-0-525-43588-4

In Mendelsund’s comically disturbing debut, writer Percy Frobisher, a brilliant thinker but an unreliable narrator, travels to a technologically advanced, unnamed institute in the desert to complete a project, the specifics of which are unclear even to him. Percy flounders in his work, instead focusing his energy on observing the institute’s other fellows (including Miss Chatterton the Mysterious Woman, The-Man-Who-Assiduously-Tracks-His-Own-Life-Data, and a woman whose name consists of a smiley-face character), dodging the administrators attempting to keep him on task, going on benders, and sneaking into town to the mysterious Same Same shop, which seems to be able to perfectly replicate any item. As a constant, bizarre storm of paper sends pages flying everywhere and the utopian facade of the institute begins to crack, Percy sets out to test the limits of the Same Same technology and of his own creative practice. Slow to start, occasionally self-indulgent, but ultimately rewarding, this novel is absurdist, uncanny metafiction about the nature of identity, individuality, and authorship in an era of rapid technological advancement. Agent: Chris Parris-Lamb, Gernert Co. (Feb.)