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The Searchby Geoff Dyer
Synopses & Reviews
Walker meets Rachel at a glamorous party by the bay. When she turns up at his apartment two days later, there is a hint of erotic promise in the air. But it isn't Walker she wants — at least not yet. Her husband, Malory, has gone missing, and she wants Walker to find him.
So begins Walker's quest, as well as this beautiful novel that takes our hard-boiled knight across the vast landscape of an imaginary middle America that begins subtly to morph into something stranger. Walker's search intensifies, and soon it seems that somebody else is searching for him. In The Search, his second novel, Geoff Dyer concocts a sophisticated and enthralling narrative puzzle.
"Dyer's second novel, first published abroad in 1993 but unavailable in the U.S. until now, is a take on the detective/noir genre in the vein of Auster, Calvino, and Borges. When Walker, a brooding, heavy-drinking loner and experienced 'tracker' with something of a criminal reputation, meets the seductive Rachel, he agrees — against his better judgment — to heed to her request to look for her 'secretive' missing ex-husband Malory. With few clues to go on (Malory avoids being photographed), Walker sets off on a journey through absurd fictional cities that make his quest harder and logically muddy — in one city he loses his motivation to leave; in another, people seem to be in constant danger — but also add a layer of intrigue. He drives — often in stolen vehicles — through deserts and dangerous storms, catching rides on trains and biking. He meets several eccentrics along the way, including an avant-garde director, who aide him in his search. Walker's task is made even more complex when the enigmatic Carver — who claims he's also looking for Malory, but whose motives are never entirely clear — begins pursuing him, after Carver fails to convince Walker to join forces with him. Dyer creates a series of puzzles, which are sure to send some back for a second read, as Walker tries to anticipate Malory's moves. Those familiar with Dyer's later works (Out of Sheer Rage) may be at first surprised that he is capable of writing in this plotted and cerebral mode, though his considerable talents, including the ability to write in other veins, are on display here." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“A short, brilliant novel, The Search offers more in 150 pages than most books twice that length.” The Guardian
"A take on the detective/noir genre in the vein of Auster, Calvino, and Borges....Dyer creates a series of puzzles, which are sure to send some back for a second read....[Dyer's] considerable talents, including the ability to write in other veins, are on display here." Publishers Weekly
“So it's farewell my lovely and were off, on a package tour through gumshoe thriller, film noir, road movie...and chivalric romance....An ambitious, stylish novel.” The Independent on Sunday
“If any British writer can try on the mantle of Calvino, Dyer can. He has a poet's gift with metaphor as well as an ability to grasp ideas, hold them, pass them on.” New Statesman
“As elegant as a mathematical theorem correctly expressed.” The Sunday Times
“Dyer injects an almost magical randomness into what ought to be the most conventional of tales, and gives us Surrealism where we might have expected Dirty Realism....Its after-image is hard to erase.” The Spectator
About the Author
Geoff Dyer is the author of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi and three previous novels, as well as nine nonfiction books. He won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2012 for Otherwise Known as the Human Condition. He lives in London.
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