BookBrowse Reviews Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen

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Atmospheric Disturbances

A Novel

By Rivka Galchen

Atmospheric Disturbances
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: May 2008,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2009,
    256 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

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At once a moving love story, a dark comedy, a psychological thriller, and a deeply disturbing portrait of a fracturing mind

When Dr. Leo Liebenstein's wife, Rema, comes through the door of their apartment carrying a "russet puppy", he knows instantly that she's an impostor. First of all, Rema doesn't like dogs. And secondly, though this simulacrum has the same "hayfeverishly fresh scent" in her hair, "same tucking behind ears of dyed cornsilk blond", and does a perfect imitation of Rema's Argentine accent with "halos around the vowels", he's certain she's not his Rema. Either Dr. Leo Liebenstein's mind is fracturing or the reality of the book is fractured, and the novel perches on this dangerous ledge, playing with one foot over the precipice, inviting the reader to decide where it will land. Equal parts intellectual exercise and emotional Rorschach, negotiating the web of reality is part of the great delight of reading this gorgeous and brilliantly constructed debut.

No doubt, ...

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