TALKING MAN by Terry Bisson


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Often delightful but irritatingly unraveled fantasy from the author of the paperback Wyrldmaker. Talking Man--he never says a word--is a godlike being who lives at the beginning/end of the world (time is circular, you see) with his sister/alter-ego Dgene; once he dreamed the Earth into existence and then chose to live there, as an auto-junkyard dealer in Owensboro, Kentucky, with his tobacco-growing daughter Crystal. But now Dgene, for unexplained reasons, has decided to destroy creation by releasing the ""unbeen,"" a jarful of pale glop that Talking Man keeps hidden inside one of his wrecked cars. After a volley of gunshots and a small melee, Dgene steals the unbeen, and Talking Man disappears. So Crystal, with her boyfriend Williams, must pursue--towards the city Edminidine at the North Pole at the end of time--in a smart, magicked '62 Chrysler, through an eerie, shifting, surreal-ish, but disconnected and unsubstantiated landscape involving--maybe--alternate realities. Charming, refreshing, irreverent storytelling, marred by some self. consciously literary passages (""She is his lover, his other, for it is nothing if not lonely at the end of time, and he dreamed her to dream him, for each without the other is only a dreamer and not a dream""), and a rationale that's at best only half worked-out.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1986
Publisher: Arbor House