The Pequod Review:
Originally published in Spanish in 1997, but only recently appearing in an English translation, this absurd Charlie Kaufman-like story stars a fictionalized César Aira, a writer/translator and mad scientist who plans to take over the world by cloning the best person he can imagine — Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes. Nothing goes according to plan, as Aira accidentally clones the silk from Fuentes’s blue tie, creating enormous blue worms that destroy everything in their path. That is only the beginning of this surreal novel. The book is just so *alive*, so full of energy, as Aira takes his story in unexpected directions yet retains enough coherence that it all holds together. At one point in the novel, Aira writes, “Our perceptions awaken when we leave our habits behind, we see more and hear more, we even dream more.” Similarly, Aira forces the reader to leave behind the expectations of a normal plot — and the result is an extraordinary book.