A literary debut that introduces Owen Burr an Olympian whose dreams of greatness are dashed and then transformed by an epic journey and his father, Professor Joseph Burr, who must travel the world to find his son.
... while the plot is wholly involving and had me eagerly turning pages ... I think what I loved about the novel is the kitchen-sink quality of its ideas and obsessions ... There were periods while reading the book when I knew I was only understanding a portion of the references to art, to philosophy, to politics, but I did not care; all of those references created a kind of tapestry in which the individual threads didn't matter because I was captivated by the whole ... I fell in love with the book because it is one of a handful of books I will read in a given year that remind me of the potential of literature to mine our obsessions and share them with others. It is a novel that could only be written by one person, at one particular time. It gives the lie to the notion that literature could ever be considered product ... the most 'alive' book I've read this year.
...[a] gorgeous debut novel ... It’s an ambitious book, one filled with Greek myths and art-world jargon, the type of stylistic siren song that could lure a writer into dangerous waters, turning a great story into a pretentious bore. Chancellor never lets that happen; he shows great poise and command with this elegant and highly enjoyable first novel, which suggests that he has even more greatness to offer us.
...a spirited sendup of the frauds found in art, academia and their ""liminal"" intersections ... Chancellor writes in the established tradition of the American absurd, from Pynchon and Gaddis...to DeLillo and Foster Wallace ... Chancellor may be swinging for the former pair, but lands firmly, and thereby accessibly, in the latter. His language is often bracing and his references to 'late Heidegger' et al. will please aspiring or ashamed philosophy students. But he is rarely esoteric for esoterica's sake, eschewing the obfuscating 'cult of the difficult' he otherwise lampoons. But is it art? Or Art? Marcel Duchamp suggested that art is whatever appears in a gallery. So is this a novel or something in a 'novel'? Liminalism suggests it may be somewhere in between.