Mjhancock's Reviews > Schrödinger's Cat 1: The Universe Next Door

Schrödinger's Cat 1 by Robert Anton Wilson
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U 50x66
's review
Sep 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in September, 2011

For an off-the-cuff description, this book can be thought of as somewhat more structured than a David Foster Wallace novel, and somewhat looser than a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Wilson describes the final days of a USA about to be destroyed by the atom bombs of a fifth column anarchist group--or not. Thanks to the vagaries of quantum physics, we see two different versions of the events leading up to the detonation, varying from each other in small but significant details. We also see a very wide, eccentric group of characters, including Mountbatten Babbit, whose mind is being invaded by a Vietnamese Buddhist; Clem Cotex and his search for 198 missing gorillas; and recent sex-change recipient Mary Margaret Wildeblood, who keeps her former member mounted on the mantelpiece. The author himself is a character in the book, and there's some doubt about whether he was created by writer Joe Malik, or Joe Malik was created by him. So yes, it's one of THOSE kind of books, but it's got just enough style to pull it off.

The book doesn't quite live up to its potential, in my opinion; it never quite reaches the "more than the sum of its parts" status of the aforementioned novels of Vonnegut and DFW. But I suppose that could still be reached through a reading of the other two books in the trilogy.

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