by Malia, May 25, 2005 12:38 PM
Baricco's characters unfold like big city streets; they meander and zoom through scenes that are scintillating, sad, thrilling, confusing, pathetic, and hilariously funny. Shatzy Shell ("no relation to the oil company") and Gould (a bed-wetting prodigy being groomed for the Nobel Prize) hang precariously on the fringe, delightfully unwilling and painfully unable to conform to mainstream customs and expectations. Part spaghetti Western, part boxing epic, part treatise on intellectual honesty, City dazzles with profound imagination. Enjoy it twice.