Friday, October 12, 2018

12th Canadian Challenge - 8th Review - Adjacentland

While I do admire Rabindranath Maharaj for trying something completely different from his books about the Canadian immigrant experience, I found Adjacentland to be frustrating and ultimately not worth the time it took me to read it.  The set-up is intriguing in that the narrator wakes up in a more or less abandoned compound with no memory of his past.  He tries to piece together his past from letters and drawings.  Much is made of the fact that all the books in the library have been scrambled.  He does encounter a few people who quiz him and ask him all manner of leading questions (and he tries to play it cool, not letting on how little he knows).  Much is also made of the fact that his memory seems to reset every 3 months.  The setting changes in various strange ways at each Stage of the book.

For better or worse, I feel Adjacentland shares with Cronenberg's eXistenZ the inability to commit to any ultimate ground truth.  I personally felt what we find out at the end is very thin gruel, not worth the 300+ page running length of this novel, but other readers are a bit more supportive.  Still, if I could go back a week in time, I would tell my younger self to pass on this book.

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