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The Impossibly Hardcover – September 1, 2001
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Every once in a long while, you discover a novel unlike anything else you’ve ever read. Laird Hunt’s debut is one of them. Innovative, comic, bizarre and beautiful.” Time Out New York
A fractured espionage story, John le Carré à la Borges.” The Stranger
For 200 pages, Hunt sustains an atmosphere of severe disorientation, packing his story with more curious and vaguely menacing strangers than a David Lynch movie. . . . The book’s many layers and difficult questions make it an ideal candidate for an adventurous book club.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Impossibly is one of the most exciting debut novels I have ever read. . . . While most Kafka comparisons are specious and overstated, Hunt’s subtle humor, sophisticated intelligence and the graceful timbre of his prose place this novel firmly in the tradition of The Castle, as well as Nabokov’s The Eye and Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser. This is high praise indeed, but The Impossibly is a marvelous, wonderful novel.” Review of Contemporary Fiction
"[Laird Hunt] captures the tone of Paul Auster’s City of Glass in the first few chapters, and he brings a decidedly Kafkaesque feel to the spy’s early adventures.” Publishers Weekly
Hunt debuts with a stylish, if opaque, noir tale about a hit man who falls in love, takes a break, and incurs the wrath of his organization. . . . The mystery runs at all levels here, and the style and situation have appeal.” Kirkus Reviews
The Impossibly, Laird Hunt’s first novel, is a challenging and inventive work, alternately chilling and humorous, that breaks new ground in the world of speculative fiction. Diffuse with noir tropes stripped of their origins, it leaves the reader with a map of the complicit mind trying to deal with perversity and adversity in a violent world.” Rain Taxi Review of Books
From the title to the last, dreamlike passage, Hunt’s novel is a deliberate, sometimes striking conundrum, one with its origins deep in the heart of traditional genres (in particular, hardboiled detective fiction and international spy thrillers), but with ambitions that extend into knotty problems of narrative, language, and meaning.” American Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
There's a love story amidst all this that I found quite moving. (In fact, I found the narrator's predicament moving throughout, despite its goofiness). The narrator's girlfriend is always wanting to acquire objects for which she does not know names. He provides the names, when he can: the objects she wants are usually oddly familiar things, like staplers. He finds all this charming, which makes sense, because he's trying to make sense out of the way his own perceptual reality is constructed. The girlfriend acquires what she learns names for, which is, again, a metaphor for the way we experience the world: we have access to that which we can name. In that way, in a familiar poststucturalist sense, our worlds are constructed out of language, and what we can "acquire" is limited by what we can talk about.Read more ›
What is wonderful about The Impossibly is that there are no other books like it: a rare claim in a world of increasingly formulaic and patronising novels. It is a book which is both extremely erudite and extremely simple: the mysterious plot, the author's witty asides, existential bewilderment, intellectual playfulness, and obvious mastery of the art of writing combine to make a work which is a joy from start to finish.
The Impossibly achieves the impossible: a completely thrilling fusion of accessible popular fiction and challenging, stimulating art.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant wrtiting and the journy this guy takes us on? Whooooo! I felt at times as though I was not bright enough to "get it. Read morePublished on March 14, 2013 by sharpeihead
Anyone can publish a book. Using all the tricks and techniques of what can be termed "experimental" the author sets out to write, and achieves, in agonizingly... Read morePublished on September 1, 2003
This is one of the most extraordinary books I've had the perplexing pleasure of reading in a long time. Read morePublished on October 23, 2001