In terms of story, this reads more like short fiction. In terms of ideas, this reads like constantly getting hit in the face by eureka moments. There’s fresh wit on every page, and some passages, such as Asterios pulling a broken q-tip end out of his wife’s ear, convey the intimacy and tenderness of a relationship better than anything you’ll read this year (including text-only literature). The author has imbued a story about failed ideas and an architect’s blind refusal to compromise with myriad inventive ways to convey it.
I don’t want to say anything more about this work. Just go check it out. With something this thrilling and sui generis, I owe Mazzucchelli at least 500 words of exegesis. Which may be forthcoming once I have some time to digest the work.
Read an eight-page excerpt on New York‘s Vulture Blog