Eduardo Aquifer and the Great Tanning Incident: A Novel
"The world's filling up. One positive aspect of this is that lyricism and self-psychiatry are on the rise." So writes Eduardo Aquifer at the beginning of his novel. And he then proceeds to introduce the reader to amorphous, carrie-ridden and dentally challenged Black Riders, a shape-shifting beauty named uber girl, a psychiatrist named Dr. Reilly who's fond of Hamlet, an Indian/cowboy named Way bent on avenging the U.S. Cavalry's use of pox-infected blankets in germ warfare against his fellow Indians, and of course, Eduardo himself. Are all of these characters masks for Eduardo himself in this romp of a novel posing as a . . . Socratic? Hamletian? Freudian? . . . investigation of Eduardo's psyche? Will the real Eduardo ever stand up? Yes, somehow, some way, he does, through a myriad of entertaining memories, stories, and family anecdotes. He does, because as Dr. Reilly, the novel's resident psychiatrist, comments after missing sleep and food just to hear one patient's story, "the play's the thing, the patient's story." Wherein we catch the conscience of--the unconscious Eduardo? Seemingly so.
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