Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the author of the bestselling novel Ishmael, 1992 winner of the highly controversial $500,000 Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, comes this absorbing cautionary tale imagining a homogenous future society. In 1992 A.D., when the narrator, Jason Tull Jr., the dilettante scion of a famous, incredibly wealthy family, graduates from college, he decides to work for We Live Again, an underfunded foundation dedicated to tracking down and authenticating reported instances of reincarnation. After 10 years and hundreds of dead-end investigations, Jason encounters the case of Mallory Hastings, a 28-year-old librarian from Oneonta, N.Y., who, following a minor car wreck, regains consciousness as a deaf mute. Hoping he has finally stumbled onto the elusive "Golden Case," Jason gains Mallory's confidence. He is ill-prepared, however, to cope with the enormity of his discovery: the person now occupying Mallory's body is Gloria MacArthur, a Manhattan artist born in 1922 A.D. But this is only a hint of a dark, complex conundrum, for the "new" Mallory has scarcely learned to talk when she realizes that Jason's A.D. is not the Christian anno Domini. Quinn's provocative, Orwellian tale imagines that Adolf Hitler beat the Allies to the A-bomb in 1944 and set in place a chilling plan to achieve a world of Aryan perfection. In Mallory/Gloria's brave new world, 2002 years have passed "after Dachau," the chilling A.D. of the title. (Feb.) Forecast: Since the publication of Ishmael and its two companion volumes, My Ishmael and The Story of B, Quinn has gained a cult following. The added intrigue of a revisionist, Nazi-dominated history will likely rally fans, and Context's vigorous promotional plans, including a 20-city reading tour in March to support a 30,000-copy first printing, may extend Quinn's reach. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
This disappointing, poorly conceived new fantasy novel mixes reincarnation, sf, Abstract Expressionism, and the Holocaust. The plot will be familiar to readers who know Quinn's most popular novel, Ishmael, the story of a telepathic gorilla and the dark secrets he reveals about man's conquest of nature. In After Dachau, the year is 4000 C.E., and a dark secret about human history is once again revealed, this time related to genocide. The Aryans have systematically exterminated every other race, and they have somehow been able to conceal the truth about this horror from the masses. Although Quinn's work in Ishmael and elsewhere suggests that he has had interesting and important things to say, this is not his best work. The plotting and characterization are very weak, and Quinn's observations about racism and bigotry, which might have redeemed the novel's other weaknesses, are, unfortunately, superficial and uninspiring. Not recommended. Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community Coll., CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Damning and damnably elegant." — Entertainment Weekly
"Provocative, Orwellian .... [an]absorbing cautionary tale." — Publishers Weekly
"Hairpin plot twists that spin wildly from mass genocide to the rediscovery of abstract expressionism.... After Dachau is a rare moral thriller in the tradition of Fahrenheit 451." — Village Voice Literary Supplement
"A ghostly and subtle thriller/fantasia/parable about (more or less) how we conceive of history, identity, time. Think Brave New World." — Esquire Magazine
"Quinn's powerful writing style consistently impresses, as does his talent for creating suspense." — Rocky Mountain News
"Entertaining... A taut, gripping, sinister, and often fun book." — Hartford Courant