Yamashita “blends the . . . surrealism of Garcia Marquez, bizarre science fiction . . . à la Stanislaw Lem, and a gift for satirizing . . . that recalls Heller of Catch-22” (Publishers Weekly).
This freewheeling black comedy features a bizarre cast of characters, including a Japanese man with a ball floating six inches in front of his head, an American CEO with three arms, and a Brazilian peasant who discovers the art of healing by tickling one’s earlobe with a feather. By the end of this hilarious tale, they each have risen to the heights of wealth and fame, before arriving at disasters—both personal and ecological— that destroy the rain forest and all birds of Brazil.
“Fluid and poetic as well as terrifying.” —New York Times Book Review
“Dazzling . . . A seamless mixture of magic realism, satire and futuristic fiction.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Impressive . . . A flight of fancy through a dreamlike Brazil.” —Village Voice
“Surreal and misty, sweeping from one high-voltage scene to another.” —LA Weekly
“Amuses and frightens at the same time.” —Newsday
“Incisive and funny, this book yanks our chains and makes us see the absurdity that rules our world.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Expansive and ambitious . . . Incredible and complicated.” —Library Journal
This satiric morality play about the destruction of the Amazon rain forest unfolds with a diversity and fecundity equal to its setting. First-novelist Yamashita blends the matter-of-fact surrealism of Garcia Marquez, bizarre science fiction twists a la Stanislaw Lem, and a gift for satirizing bureaucracy that recalls Heller of Catch 22 --all in a Chaucerian framework. But in the end it is the author's unique voice that emerges. A Japanese-American who has lived in Los Angeles and Brazil, Yamashita seems to have thrown into the pot everything she knows and most that she can imagine--all to good effect. The cast includes: the unusual narrator, a small ball that whirls near the forehead of a Japanese living in Brazil; American Jonathan B. Tweep, a three-armed businessman who develops the Theory of Trialectics; Mane Pena, who makes his fortune through ``Featherology,'' the art of healing with feathers; and a couple whose pigeon-raising hobby turns into a national obsession and big business. The seemingly disparate plot lines converge explosively in the rain forest on the Matacao, a mysterious shiny plateau that at first offers wealth and miracles, and eventually death and disaster.