Cyrus Cyrus

Adam Zameenzad, Author Viking Books $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-670-83223-1
Extravagantly imaginative and acidly satiric, this epic novel by Pakistani writer Zameenzad is sure to invite comparisons with the works of Salman Rushdie. Its hero, Cyrus Cyrus, is so utterly disenfranchised that he has no real surname, and merely repeats his given name when asked to identify himself. Convicted of the murders of three children (two of them his own), he narrates an autobiography teeming with ``images of sex and survival, death and after-death, madness and genius'' from his prison cell in Britain--where his three consecutive life sentences are supernaturally commuted. In the manner of classic confessions, Cyrus's opus begins with his birth (in India, to the most untouchable of the untouchables). It continues with the series of cataclysms that chase him from country to country, continent to continent and, finally, to hell, where he successfully matches wits with the officials. All is related with a lustrous black humor that counterpoints the unforgiving indictment of justice, religion and society: for the disinherited, reality is as grotesque as a vision of hell. Zameenzad, who lives in Britain, is the author of three previous novels, of which only one ( The Thirteenth House ) has been published here . Surely this brilliant work will incite demand for more. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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