"An ambitious, complex novel . . . Those who read by simultaneously working with the writer, fantasizing alongside him, capable of enjoying the subtleties and secrets of a text as rich and profound as the text of this novel, will never forget it." --Mario Vargas Llosa"Gustavo Faveron Patriau has written a dark, cruel and thrilling gem of a novel. There are shades of Borges fabulism here, and Calvino's "Invisible Cities", but something more mysterious too, something gothic, something macabre. "The Antiquarian" is a novel about literature, war, madness and friendship, a startling read from the first sentence to the last." --Daniel Alarcon, author of "Lost City Radio" and "At Night We Walk in Circles""Gustavo Faveron Patriau's "The Antiquarian" is a dazzling and unforgettable meditation on deception, obsession, and the search for truth. How rare it is to find a novel of ideas that never fails to entertain. How rare it is to find a novel that marries intelligent, intricate plotting with richly rewarding prose. I was privileged to find such a novel in THE ANTIQUARIAN, and once I had fallen headlong into Gustavo Faveron Patriau's mysterious and mythic creation, I couldn't bear to leave it." --Laura van den Berg, author of "The Isle of Youth"
Gustavo Faveron Patriau is the director of the Latin American Studies Program and an associate professor of Romance languages at Bowdoin College. He is the author of two books of literary theory and has edited anthologies on Roberto Bolano and Peruvian literature. As a journalist and a literary and social critic, his articles and essays have appeared around the world in such publications as Daily Kos, "Etiqueta Negra," and "Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos."
Three years have passed since Gustavo, a renowned psycholinguist, last spoke to his closest friend Daniel, who's been interned in a mental institution for murdering his fiance. When Daniel unexpectedly calls to confess what really happened, Gustavo's long-buried loyalty resurfaces and draws him into the center of a quixotic, unconventional investigation. As Daniel reveals his story through fragments of fables, novels, and historical allusions, Gustavo begins to retrace the past: from their early college days exploring dust-filled libraries and exotic brothels, to Daniel's intimate attachment to his sickly younger sister and his dealings as an antiquarian book collector. As the clues grow more macabre and more intricate with every turn, an increasingly skeptical Gustavo is forced to deduce a complex series of events from allegories that are more real than police reports, and metaphors more revealing than evidence. With sumptuous prose and haunting imagery, Gustavo Faveron Patriau has crafted an unforgettable labyrinthine tale about the reality of human suffering, the healing power of stories, and the strength of fraternal bonds. "The Antiquarian" is a masterfully conceived, engrossing novel of murder, madness, and passion that is as entertaining as it is erudite, dark as it is illuminating.