An intriguing debut about a fractured life forcibly glued back together, with the edges cracked and jagged, pieces missing here and there.
Is Adam Williams really Lexus Sam? Lexus knows that he is Lexus, but everything around him says that he’s Adam—an apartment in Adam’s name; a boyfriend named Greg who hopes he will regain his memories; and a therapist helping him rebuild Adam’s life through medication and hypnotherapy. Images jump out at Lexus, then fade. Are they from his past or something else? Cutting with little transition from scene to scene,an apartment building to the exploding skull of Gov. MacTeague, the narrative is disorientating at first but gains clarity in the later pages. When Lexus meets Sarah, a lover from his visions, the story focuses and stabilizes itself. She doesn’t know him, but he knows her like only an intimate can. Or is he just so convinced that he is this person named Lexus that he is also convincing as her lover? When the two become closer, the line between realities shifts, splitting at the seams. Gallucci builds a remarkable amount of tension in seemingly banal scenes, layering images and psychological states that at times perfectly recreate Lexus’ mind. As he traces the visions of MacTeague’s murder, the novel intensifies, and it becomes a question of whether Lexus is reliving his past, hallucinating in the present or creating the future—“what we call the present is just the time it takes for [the] unknown to crystallize into the past.”Riveting and at points gorgeous, Gallucci’s work begins to crumble under the weight of its ideas and the scaffolding of its construction, particularly in the novel’s final third. Lexus’ visions get reduced to coincidence and psychological disassociation, and the plot holes get too big to work around. Nevertheless, reading around those shortcomings is worth it.
A visceral, ambitious debut that threatens to collapse before completion.