Thursday, October 21, 2004

ROBERT WEXLER - The Circus of the Grand Design

Boasting a wonderful cover design by Luis Rodriguez, Robert Wexler's The Circus of the Grand Design is an honorable and wise addition to the long tradition of circus-based fantasy.

From its hilarious beginning in the home of a pretentious performance artist to its long and meandering middle in the aforementioned circus, Wexler's novel is among the best first novels of the year. Some might say that the book takes too long in the telling, but there are many rewards in the journey rather than the destination (which is still pretty darn compelling). What I love about Wexler is exactly that he's not in a hurry.

In general, I think we're too in love with action, with the hurried, frantic pace of the noir mystery, of the world-colliding space opera. But there are lovely benefits to slowing down and allowing a novel to envelop us in its world at a more leisurely pace. This is what Wexler gifts us with in The Circus of the Grand Design. Which is not to say that the novel is slow, but that it takes its time in an appropriate way.

It's a book wise about the mysteries of the world, and I could easily see it becoming a cult classic.