Odier (The Job, Gioconda, etc.) takes time out from his pseudonym Delacorta (Diva, Lola, Alba, etc.) for a jazz-inspired odyssey across (and across and across) America that's also a pop meditation on the relation between passive authors and their ravenous creations. As a writer called ""the writer"" finishes his novel about a young woman named Bird who likes to jump out windows and airplanes, he sees her escaping her fictional bounds--""merging with my desert and my book,"" and assuming a life of her own as she sets out on a journey from Pensacola through a magical geography of America, closely yet distantly pursued by the Chameleon, whose identity ebbs and flows into the writer's. A lot of the solemnly playful nonsense that follows (""Do you have the feeling that everything around you is unreal?"" ""Reassuring"") will be familiar to fans of Delacorta's four-letter titles, but the choice of jazz instead of thrillers as the pop model for this trip makes the narrative form considerably more adventurous--it's a set of riffs on the American landscape, with special attention to motels, alligators, the apocryphal 1928 Cannibal Manifesto (which proclaims that all people want to devour everything that isn't themselves, especially everything they love), the magically fluid relations between characters and their creators, McCoy Tyner, and Charlie Parker--but thinner and more transparently self-infatuated as well. A slick, shaggy ramble with even less on its mind (if that's possible) than the Delacorta books.