By Baret Magarian
Publisher: Pleasure Boat Studio
Published: June 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction, Satire, Dark humor, fiction
Formats Available For Review: Print (limited quantities, only available to qualified reviewers/bloggers in the U.S.) PDF, epub
When Oscar Babel, a cinema projectionist languishing in obscurity, is befriended by Daniel Bloch, a popular novelist, strange things begin to happen when Bloch starts to write about Oscar. Oscar’s life changes course as he becomes a 21st century messiah. At the same time Bloch’s life descends into the darkness (and madness) that his friend narrowly escaped.
Feeding in and out of this central spine are other stories: Bloch’s reconciliation with his father, who was seduced by Bloch’s ex-wife Natalie; the career of the brilliant but unsuccessful painter Najette, Oscar’s muse and lover; and ever more insane instances of PR stunts, as master-minded by the demonic publicist Ryan Rees. Eventually Oscar’s fame and myth balloon out of all proportion and the novel draws to an unforgettable climax.
THE FABRICATIONS possesses peculiar relevance to our tumultuous times. At the center of the novel is Ryan Reese, a Trump/Murdock like character. His main motivation is to manipulate society at large, spread anarchy and create propaganda. He derives pleasure from his power to sow the seeds of hope only to dash them and destroy them whenever he feels like. To this end he seizes upon Oscar Babel, an obscure blank slate of a man he can easily manipulate, orchestrating Babel’s rise to fame through “fabrications” designed to turn him into a contemporary savior of society.
The book addresses the way shadowy off-stage figures retain the real power, as their puppets and creations dance to their tunes, and the public follows suit. The novel also explores the myths of celebrity, the power of the Internet to disfigure and distort, and the madness of our culture, in which prophets, truths and legends can all be invented.
Part meditation on synchronicity, identity and sex, part satirical critique of contemporary society, and part love story, THE FABRICATIONS is a novel that abandons realism and attempts to create a parallel universe that offers deep truths about the chaos and beauty of our own. It jostles with dazzling stories, and memorable, grotesque characters, and will take you on a wild ride, lurching among pathos, hilarity and profundity, breaking the rules of fiction in creating something subversive and beautiful.
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