Glyph: A Novel
, Oct 1, 1999
- 224 pages
With this wildly inventive new novel, Percival Everett has created his unlikeliest hero to date. Mute by choice, and able to read complex philosophical treatises and compose passable short stories while still in the crib, baby Ralph does not consider himself a genius-- because he is unable to drive. Plenty of others, however, want a stake in this precocious child prodigy. Among the most fiendish are Dr. Steimmel, the psychiatrist to whom his bewildered parents first take him, and her assistant Boris; Dr. Davis and her illegal chimps; and not-so-sweet Nanna, the secret agent. All have plans for Ralph, and no one wants to share the poor infant who misses his mother and does not take kindly to his new role as "Defense Stealth Operative." Throughout the ensuing nation-wide chase of which he is the center, Ralph ponders on the theories of literary form-- and comes to some surprising conclusions of his own that perhaps only a baby could dream up.
A narrative to question narrative, a highly original analysis of analysis, Everett's tour de farce prompts one to acknowledge that his is the true genius.