Adam's Reviews > The Lost Books of the Odyssey

The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason
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's review
Mar 24, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: recent-enthusiasms, minimalism

A blending of the Borges literary legacy with Zoran Zivkovic’s mode of “mosaic novel” writing, The Lost Books of the Odyssey refracts the story of The Odyssey and the person of Odysseus down a long corridor of funhouse mirrors--44 chapters of jazzy improvisation. And, at least on a first reading, Zachary Mason seems never to hit the wrong note, at once evoking with considerable skill the Time of Myth and a limbo-like atmosphere where post-modern narrative play is the most natural thing in the world. Somehow, through the multiple short narratives, Mason also entirely avoids the triteness and tedium common to so many authors who’ve decided to “screw with the classics.” So, here is one of those conceptual novels that could have gone wrong in countless ways, and a considerable part of the enjoyment comes with watching Mason sustain his daring high-wire act. This is an ideal bedside book, as every story/chapter is only a few pages long and is also likely, late at night, to put you in a dreamy altered-state frame of mind.
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