If any living writer merits a mammoth reader, it's intrepid journalist and novelist William T. Vollmann, whose colossal body of work stands unsurpassed for its range, moral imperative, and artistry. Given the splendid complexity of Seven Dreams, a series of historical novels about North America; the enormity of his inquiry into the nature of violence, Rising Up and Rising Down
(2003); and the scope of his newest work of fiction, Europe Central
[BKL Ja 1 & 15 05], to mention but a few of his major accomplishments, readers will welcome this illuminating and innovatively conceived overview. Vollmann and his discerning, and pleasingly irreverent, coeditors present an electrifying assemblage of samplings from his major work and less-known yet pivotal pieces, including arresting autobiographical essays and correspondence with editors in which Vollmann explicates and defends his work. Also included are photographs and drawings, and, best of all, an extraordinarily revealing and witty chronology that creeps forward from the primordial era through the unfolding of civilization to Vollmann's globe-circling adventures and the fruits of his fertile and febrile imagination. Donna SeamanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"William T. Vollmann looks to be the most prodigiously talented and historically important novelist under 35...he has published books which tower over his contemporaries by virtue of their enormous range, huge ambition, stylistic daring, wide learning, audacius innovation, and sardonic wit."