Justine Marquez

Who is the intended audience for this title? and can anyone please tell me they know the book's or the author's purpose?

Dave Menconi I have a theory for the 2nd question (although who can say they know another's purpose): I think this is a post-modern novel along the lines of "Gravity's Rainbow" or "Infinite Jest" or maybe even "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

From what I've read, a post-modern novel attempts to explore the contradictions, absurdities, mind-bending changes of the post-WWII world. One of the hallmarks of post-modern novels seems to be that they question what we think of as reality and so much that happens in the book is absurd. This book is filled with absurd coincidences and ridiculous happenstances. The supposed purpose of this is to get us to think "outside the box" but it doesn't really work for me -- maybe I like my box too much...

If this were a post-modern novel then the book would actually be about the changes that happened after the war. I note that we spend some time with communism, with Soviets, with Red Chinese, with people in Sweden needing identity numbers, with officials in Sweden not being able to investigate a crime properly or co-opt one of their own number to be able help develop the bomb simply out of arrogance. In short, most of the flash-backs have to do with changes that happened because of WWII and most of the "current story" has to do with problems in modern Sweden.

(The fact that the book is humorous really has nothing to do with any of this. It's just the sugar coating.)

I am, personally, not a big fan of post modernism as I have experienced it (I didn't like any of the 3 books I mentioned). I certainly understand some reviewers complaints that it's "boring" or "silly". I would call it "clever" but there's such a thing as "too clever."

Still I rather like it so far. It hasn't become tediously clever, although it's come pretty close.

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