Review: Reif Larsen's 'I Am Radar'

April 8, 2015 12:07 PM

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Reif Larsen's ambitious new book spans continents and decades, ranging from a makeshift Norwegian village near the Arctic Circle to Yugoslavia, onward into Cambodia and the Congo - and back and forth to Elizabeth, N.J., with a side trip to the Meadowlands. It ruminates on weighty themes involving the intersection of science and art, identity and human nature, war and peace. It invokes quantum physics and Nikola Tesla (and to a lesser extent Bruce Springsteen). It even has avant-garde puppets. It is an exhausting, endless, splitting headache of a novel.

Larsen is the author of "The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet," a delightful story about an eccentric boy from Montana who dreams of mapping the world and heads east on an adventure to the Smithsonian in Washington. Annotated with diagrams, artwork and other ephemera, the novel was sweet and funny and ...

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