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
No doubt, ...
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