Weird, wild, pretentious but lively stuff: it's about 3,000 A.D., and fat, anxious Sumner Kagan, a food addict who feels he was ""BORN TO DREAD,"" metamorphoses into ""Sugarat,"" a creature who thrives on murder, swelling with importance as a terrorist sought by the police. Seduced by telepathic charmist Jeanlu (a recluse since her family was murdered by the Masseboth), Sugarat sires Dai Bodatta, a killer ""voor-child"" whose mission is to free the voors from the Masseboth and something called the ""Delph fear."" And after Jeenlu dies of black fungus (her corpse tries to strangle Sugarat), Sugarat is arrested, slimmed down by hard labor, trained as a Ranger, and then given the mission of killing his own five-year-old son Dai Bodatta. . . who has been half-assassinated by Delph nonhuman assassin Nefandi and is now a still-living charred black mummy. When Dai Bodatta attempts to use Sugarat's strong new body as his own, Sugarat resists; eventually he shoots the mummy's head off, but then he's tutored by a brain-enhanced ape named Bonescrolls to prepare to allow the ""One-Mind"" to fight the fear-Delph through him. So Sugarat masters kundalini, meets Rubeus the defender of the Delph, and (when Bonescrolls is assassinated by Nefandi) admits the soul of Dai Bodatta into his entity. . . . Sounds complicated? Well, that's only the barest summary: Attanasio tangles this gargantuan fancy with intersecting dimensions, pseudo-philosophy, neologisms galore, and a huge cast of fabulous creatures. But, notwithstanding the ponderous verbiage and metaphysical murk here, the imagination at work is undeniably impressive--and fat, humiliated Sumner/Sugarat is a hero whom fantasy fans will lock into and cheer as he grows into godhood. Flawed with a vengeance, then, yet alive with enough zest and daring to rise above the sf/fantasy run-of-the-mill.