Sanchez's 1973 debut, Rabbit Boss , inspired critics to compare his writing to that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and his newest work, his first novel in 11 years, may do the same, with its tumultuous, linguistically heady combination of history, myth, fable and fate. Set in Key West, the narrative introduces a group of loosely connected characters--a dissolute renegade named St. Cloud, a Cuban-American policeman named Justo, a displaced Southern belle, a terrified young fugitive from Haiti and numerous others, ranging from street criminals to Vietnam vets to artists. It's an extraordinary group portrait of a true expatriate community--``everyone this far south of the south seemed to have left behind a shadow life,'' he writes--but also more purposeful than it appears initially. Gradually, the author draws all his characters into the vortex of a metaphysical mystery: Who is ``Zobop,'' the demonic, voodoo-inspired killer leaving his bloody mark on the island? Dense, complex, often impenetrable and murky in its finale, this novel is certain to frustrate some readers; however, those with patience will discover a uniquely rendered, almost unearthly, evocation of Key West by a master writer. 50,000 first printing. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989 Release date: 09/01/1989 Genre: Fiction
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