Floating Notes

Babak Lakghomi. Tyrant, $13 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-0-9992186-1-7
It’s hard to imagine a more apt title than the one chosen for Lakghomi’s mind-bending debut. Told in unnumbered, untitled entries that range from a single sentence to a page or two, the book starts straightforwardly, with the first-person narrator confessing disjointedly and without explanation that he often introduces himself as Bob, though that is not his real name. In the next entry, a man named Bob introduces himself, in a more open but similarly peripatetic voice, offering more autobiographical tidbits. Is this the same Bob or not? The reader is left to decide. The slender volume unfolds as a series of reminiscences that relate to other entries in at least a tangential—if not a chronological or even sequential—way. Much musing centers around a young woman named Lily, who disappeared, and another named Sheila, who, for a while, is also partnered with Bob and invested in the search for Lily before herself disappearing. The reader gets a tapestry of a mystery, with significant details consciously omitted. Anticipation is built as each clarifying or obfuscating piece is added to the picture. What’s most arresting is that each element is crafted with economy and a poetic sense of the authority of detail. This is a crisply written and piquant novella about the nature of identity and the absurdity of logic. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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