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US Review of Books

09-22-15  - Joe Kilgore

 "My intentions live beyond the words I write. Trust me; they lie beyond these pages, in the head, across the universes of the mind."

- The Author

Facundo Raganato has written an interesting book about books. It’s not a treatise on how writers write, or what readers read. Rather, it’s a dramatization of the interplay not only between writers and readers, but also between the characters within the pages. In Raganato’s tome, he converses directly with the reader as well as the characters he's writing about while simultaneously telling their story. The effect is a bit like waking up in the middle of a René Magritte painting while you’re looking at it.

The story, which is definitely secondary to the multiple-level psychological experience the author achieves, involves six characters adrift in environments and situations that test every facet of their physical and introspective capabilities. Each struggles with his or her own capacity to rationalize their presence in the story, their relationships with one another, their own individual psyches, their strength or impotence to effect their own outcomes, plus their interactions with both the writer and the reader. Think of them as modern wanderers pulled from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and plunked right into the middle of an ever-changing Salvador Dali landscape complete with quicksand, crypts, train tracks to nowhere, rope bridges over vast chasms, and more.

Raganato’s The Author is similar to an abstract painting. Impact on the individual is what’s important. Collective agreement is neither achievable nor sought. There is no right or wrong. There is only that individual reflection of what the art says to the viewer. If you like making your own decisions and you appreciate literature that provides answers which provoke even more thoughtful questions, then Raganato’s book just might be for you.

- Joe Kilgore, US Review of Books

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