In this English debut from best-selling Argentinian writer González, the deer population of a small Midwestern city starts attacking people, and a squad of retirees organizes to hunt the animals down. At the same time, a group of protesters decides to abandon the "system" and live in the woods, while a local taxidermist is beginning to see the connections among the dropouts, the deer, and the discord.
... unsettling, fantastical, and often hilarious ... It’s a strange motion this book makes; you could call it meandering but that undersells how consistently riveting it is ... One fascinating thing about this book, out of several, is the amount of detail and bearing down we find here, despite its myriad subplots; this book maintains the weight of its details, and comfortably ... The force driving American Delirium is González’s clear fascination with her fictional subjects. Her lens knows no boundaries, delving into the most minute parts of characters’ lives [...] When we do finally reach a conclusion, we feel less like we have been reading a novel than like we have been listening to a symphony. We understand the novel has to end here, even if we don’t know why — and our mystification becomes one of the book’s many satisfactions.
[A] wild romp ... Note: There is some graphic animal cruelty here, so if you are sensitive to that, this is not your book ... The lively pace and absurdity of American Delirium could easily go off the rails, but González keeps a tight control over each of her characters even as they navigate their ever-stranger adventures. The novel is well served by translator Heather Cleary’s light touch, which allows for a certain amount of zaniness without sacrificing the plot or the well-defined characters.
... unsettling yet erudite ... Behind this baffling turn of events runs veiled social commentary on capitalism and the progressive mentality replete with astute observations on aging, death, and human nature that becomes most poignant when seen through Beryl’s eyes. The mystery of the hallucinogen and the lives impacted by it coalesce into a profound and much-needed tale full of hope and kindness.