Big Machine

Big Machine

A Novel

Book - 2010 | Spiegel & Grau Trade paperback edition.
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Ricky Rice is a middling hustler with a lingering junk habit, a bum knee, and a haunted mind. A survivor of a suicide cult, he scrapes by as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York, until one day a mysterious letter arrives, summoning him to enlist in a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom had at some point in their wasted lives heard what may have been the voice of God.

Infused with the wonder of a disquieting dream and laced with Victor LaValle's fiendish comic sensibility, Big Machine is a mind-rattling mystery about doubt, faith, and the monsters we carry within us.
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau Trade paperbacks, 2010.
Edition: Spiegel & Grau Trade paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780385527996
Branch Call Number: LAV
Characteristics: 370 pages ;,21 cm


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Sep 12, 2018

Victor LaValle has a knack for starting off a story in a "normal" way and gradually take it into the fantastic. It is never a linear thing, this happens and then that happens, there is a back-and-forth in time and place, characters appearing then disappearing and then reappearing later. It is convoluted yet makes total sense.

What I didn't understand is why towards the end he changed parts of Oakland to be a place called Garland. The streets are Oakland streets, near where I grew up, making them extra familiar. The best was that one of the locations was Port View Park, an old favorite of mine from the 1970s, and the site of many picnics. A peculiar nostalgia happens when you know a location that is used in fiction.

Jan 07, 2011

Strange, singular, and suspenseful as all get-out, "Big Machine" redefines the idea of a literary pageturner.


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SPL_STARR Jun 15, 2015

"Don't look for dignity in public bathrooms."

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