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The author of the international bestseller Silk now delivers a ravishing and wildly inventive novel about friendship, genius and its discontents, and the redemptive power of narrative. Somewhere in America lives a brilliant boy named Gould, an intellectual guided missile aimed at the Nobel Prize. His only companions are an imaginary giant and an imaginary mute. Improbably—and yet with impeccable logic--he falls into the care of Shatzy Shell, a young woman whose life up till that point has been equally devoid of human connection.
Theirs is a relationship of stories and of stories within stories: of Gould’s evolving saga of an underdog boxer and the violent Western that Shatzy has been dictating into a tape recorder since the age of six. Out of these stories, Alessandro Baricco creates a masterpiece of metaphysical pulp fiction that recalls both Scheherazade and Italo Calvino. By turns exhilarating and deeply moving, City is irresistible.
“Baricco has inventiveness in spades, and his freaks have the capacity to chill the blood or warm the heart.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Filled with wild invention and lyrical prose . . . Conventional characters and superheroes alike behave with the wild abandon we have come to recognize in the novels of Thomas Pynchon, Don De Lillo and Robert Coover. City is simultaneously hilarious and profoundly sad.” —The Washington Post Book World
“An imaginative, surprisingly poignant Italian reinvention of what has become a staple of American teen fiction: the saga of marginalized members of society who find comfort in each other.”—Booklist
“Along with flashes of love it reveals for old-fashioned storytelling, City boldly displays its futurist credentials…Baricco’s narrative virtuosity continues to astonish.” —The Independent (London)