Enigmatic Pilot: A Tall Tale Too True

Kris Saknussemm, Del Rey, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-8129-7417-1
Outrageous and baffling, this puzzle-packed yarn seems to fall in the same (non)category as Saknussem's Zanesville (2005), combining the fusty diction of Charles Portis and the deadpan weirdness of Thomas Pynchon. Readers meet little Lloyd Meadhorn Sitturd as a young genius who resists the stifling social pressures of antebellum Ohio while creating marvelous, disturbing inventions. When Lloyd and his parents head west in search of better prospects, the boy encounters numerous wonders: a riverboat gambler with a deadly mechanical hand, a 13-year-old escaped slave who becomes Lloyd's lover, automatons masquerading as people. The setting is convincingly gritty, and the action darts wildly from scene to scene as Lloyd develops a sense of personal responsibility—until an abrupt viewpoint shift throws, literally, everything into doubt. Readers who don't expect all riddles to have answers will find this surreal adventure delightful. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 226 pages - 978-0-345-51902-3
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