The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri Summary and Reviews

The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri

A Novel

by David Bajo

The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri by David Bajo X
The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri by David Bajo
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  • Published Jun 2008
    304 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

For most of his adult life - through two marriages and countless travels - the mathematician Philip Mazyrk has carried on a love affair with Irma Arcuri. Now Irma has vanished and left Philip her entire library of 351 books, five of them written by Irma herself. Buried in the text of this library - Cervantes to Turgenyev, Borges to Fowles - lay the secrets of Irma's disappearance and, in the novels Irma has written, the story of her elusive and romantic past with Philip.

Philip, a math genius who sees equations in every facet of life, reads the novels and begins to sense a more profound and troubling design at work. A mysterious woman appears; his ex-wife reveals a terrible secret; his stepdaughter, Nicole, long troubled by the free-spirited nature of her parents' lives, approaches a dangerous turn; and Nicole's teenage brother has fled. As clues, warnings, and implications both inside and outside the library mount, Philip begins to realize that he too is trapped in a narrative. Who is Irma Arcuri? What is really buried in the library? And, most important, whose story is this?

Like the work of Milan Kundera or John Fowles, Bajo's novel is brazenly passionate, sexy, even transgressive, yet thrillingly mysterious. Addictive, compelling, and clever, The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri will captivate fans of The Time Traveler's Wife and The Shadow of the Wind.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Though Bajo's plotting can be elliptical and the denouement doesn't quite sing, the narrative's intelligence and passion transcend its metafictional ambiguities." - Publishers Weekly.

"Ambitious and intelligent but overstuffed." - Kirkus Reviews.

"The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri is a dazzling combination of love and sex and, yes, mathematics, and David Bajo uses mirrors to make his magic. If you have ever opened a novel and found yourself 'inside' the story, you must read this book." - Keith Donohue, author of the The Stolen Child.

This information about The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

David Bajo

David Bajo holds an MA in English literature from the University of Michigan and an MFA in fiction from UC Irvine. Bajo has taught writing at UC Irvine Boise State and currently teaches at the University of South Carolina. This is his first novel.

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