cover image Exiled from Almost Everywhere

Exiled from Almost Everywhere

Juan Goytisolo, trans. from the Spanish by Peter Bush, Dalkey Archive, $13.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-56478-635-7

Goytisolo (Young Assassins) misfires in this frustrating intellectual exercise, a circuitous journey into the virtual military industrial complex. Blown up in a terrorist attack, the Monster of Le Sentier lands in the Hereafter—a giant cybercafe—and makes some dangerous new friends, such as Alice, an expert in explosives manufacturing who sweeps him into the "machine of subversion" and the planning of the bombing of an "emblematic" public building. In brief bursts of shifting stream-of-consciousness, the would-be terrorist deals with fringe groups and dubious characters—a monsignor who molests the children he purports to aid; a corrupt "Father of the People." Goytisolo's frenetic and paranoid effort is full of frantic action, but is so unfortunately light on things that appeal to most readers—logic, coherence, characters you might care about—that the whole project reeks of self-indulgence. (Apr.)