Panopticon

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Unbridled Books, Oct 1, 2010 - Fiction - 384 pages
1 Review
As the California borderland newspaper where they work prepares to close, three reporters are oddly given assignments to return to stories they’ve covered before—each one surprisingly personal. The first assignment takes reporter Aaron Klinsman and photographer Rita Valdez to an abandoned motel room where the mirrors are draped with towels, bits of black tape cover the doorknobs, and the perfect trace of a woman’s body is imprinted on the bed sheets. From this sexually charged beginning—on land his family used to own—Klinsman, Rita, and their colleague, Oscar Medem understand that they are supposed to uncover something. They just don’t know what.

Following the moonlit paths their assignments reveal through the bars, factories and complex streets of Tijuana and Otay, haunted by the femicides that have spread westward from Juarez, the reporters become more intimately entwined. Tracing the images they uncover, and those they cause and leave behind, they soon realize that every move they make is under surveillance. Beyond this, it seems their private lives and even their memories are being reconstructed by others.

Panopticon is a novel of dreamlike appearances and almost supernatural memories, a world of hidden watchers that evokes the dark recognition of just how little we can protect even our most private moments. It is a shadowy, erotic novel only slightly speculative that opens into the world we all now occupy.

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User Review  - eheinlen - LibraryThing

Overall, this just wasn't my type of book. As such, I don't have much to say on it other than I found the story to be too hard to follow and the writing style not engaging. I'm sure others might find the story interesting, but I just couldn't get into it. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

David Bajo was raised on the California-Mexico border and has worked as a journalist and translator. He is the author of The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri and teaches writing at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where he lives with his wife, the novelist Elise Blackwell, and their daughter.

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