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Time for Robo Hardcover – January 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Inescapably evocative of Vonnegut and Pynchon, this labyrinthine attempt to transform modern times' absurd hyperactivity into dark, edgy satire too often collapses into its own miasma of convoluted subplots and indeterminate digressions. Noted Newsweek art critic and artist Plagens writes dense, parenthetical (at times, virtually impenetrable) prose, taking uncertain aim at the foibles of writing, religion, sports mania and politics, with minor excursions into art, pseudo-science and sexual obsession. Introduced by the Ghost (an entity that is possibly a computer, a duck or God), the plot rambles from North Carolina to Idaho and California. Among the characters are failed novelist Billy Lockjaw; minor pro basketball player Robot-jock; pseudo-scientist Serge Protector; horny charismatic theosopher Rev. William Halliwell; 15th-century Flemish painter Dieric Maender; Noam Sain, an itinerant southern California evangelist (his German bride metamorphoses into Hitler's infamous Axis Sally); and Matt Medium, a WWII spook who heads an Orwellian surveillance agency. As he indicates in a pre-pub interview, Plagens is attempting to emulate the Chinese box, stories-within-stories formula, but from the beginning he is unable to concoct a cogent montage of interconnected characters and plots. Though he might have benefited from the example of Vonnegut's signature verbal economy, this book does provide a kind of whirlwind, cacaphonous pleasure for readers willing to submit to its unwieldy burden of loquaciousness.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Take a small-time novelist in Mylar, GA, an apocalyptic cult, a superjock father and son in Calvary, ID, an increasingly New Age traveling evangelist, various secret agents, a changeling painting, and the spirit that holds the universe together. Mix in the themes of paternity, conspiracy, invisibility, time travel, and the end of time and what do you get? In the case of Time for Robo, one of the most creative novels of the 1990s. Plagens begins with a wild chapter reminiscent of Irvine Welsh, presents nine more chapters that could be separate short stories as Part 1 ("Alas, through the Looking Glass") and uses Part 2 ("Time the End of Till") to tie the separate threads into a Gordian knot. It's rather astounding for a first novelist best known as a painter and art critic to write a novel comparable to those of Thomas Pynchon, Jim Dodge, or Robert Coover. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.AJim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.34 pounds
  • Hardcover : 303 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0930773543
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0930773540
  • Product Dimensions : 5.73 x 1.01 x 8.75 inches
  • Publisher : Black Heron Press; First Edition, First edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: : English