18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Bleeding-Edge Cross Between Don DeLillo and Ralph Ellison,
This review is from: Big Machine: A Novel (Hardcover)
Ricky Rice, the protagonist in Victor LaValle's second novel, begins telling us his story in Utica, NY, which he has reached by way of even more podunk towns like Kingston, Elmira, and Troy. It's amazing to witness Ricky's transformation from a beaten-down bus-station janitor to a lead investigator on supernatural incidents for a covert operation.
The insight into cultish responses to supernatural phenomena, coupled with fast, modern writing rings of Don DeLillo (Mao II: A Novel) or even Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor: A Novel). That the author is a black novelist writing of a black everyman protagonist, in a very tour-de-force way, puts me in the mind of Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man). This novel is a fiercely sweeping and original take on contemporary America as it wrestles with its demons, be they literal or metaphorical.