Parsifal

Parsifal

by Jim Krusoe
     
 

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Head-spinning and hilarious, Parsifal is a book like no other about the entanglement of the past and present, as well as the limitations of the future.

There's a war going on between the earth and the sky, but that doesn’t stop Parsifal, a humble fountain-pen repairman, from revisiting the forest where he was raised. On his journey, Parsifal—a wise

Overview

Head-spinning and hilarious, Parsifal is a book like no other about the entanglement of the past and present, as well as the limitations of the future.

There's a war going on between the earth and the sky, but that doesn’t stop Parsifal, a humble fountain-pen repairman, from revisiting the forest where he was raised. On his journey, Parsifal—a wise fool if there ever was one—encounters several librarians, a therapist, numerous blind people, and Misty, a beautiful woman who may well be under the influence of recreational drugs. Head-spinning and hilarious, Parsifal is a book like no other about the entanglement of the past and present, as well as the limitations of the future.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Krusoe’s latest (after Toward You) is a self-reflective coming-of-age story wrapped in a fable and sprinkled with wry observations. Parsifal was raised in the forest and, though he lives in town as an adult, he’s perpetually called back to his roots, both physically and through memories of an ideal childhood with his mother and father. A “war” is underway, between the Earth and the Sky, with microwave ovens, bicycles, and other random objects plummeting to the ground; Earth responds by filling the sky with toxic ash and smoke. Parsifal’s story unfolds as a series of nuggets, observations, encounters, biographical facts, and frequently ironic one-line codas such as: “What is the sound of sadness creeping into his heart?” Motifs run through the shaggy plot: pens, fire, birds, relationships with librarians. Outrageous developments are relayed with deadpan irony, as when Parsifal’s father believes that his oversexed secretary’s short, tight suit is “well within the limits of good taste.” With a passive hero at its core, Parsifal becomes a piquant commentary on tensions between nostalgia and reality, the past and the present, and humanity’s need for myths. (July)
From the Publisher

"Parsifal's entire quest might have nothing to do with his cup and everything to do with the lost nuclear associated with it. This is pretty banal stuff, I know, but it's also pretty deep stuff, and Krusoe is sufficiently artful at scrambling his oppositions and his timeline that the experience of reading Parsifal is the opposite of banal."—The Rumpus

"...dreamlike, at times even poetic, meditations on good, evil, blindness, and sight."
Daily Beast, Hot Reads

"The words of Paul Verlaine -- 'What is this sadness that creeps into my heart?' -- recur throughout the novel, and Krusoe replays them in jazz-like variations that accrue meaning and emotion until we come to see Parsifal as a tragic clown, a lonely fool without a heart, an emblem of the emptiness of a life lived, or a quest undertaken, without love."
Oregonian

"Krusoe’s latest is a self-reflective coming-of-age story wrapped in a fable and sprinkled with wry observations…Parsifal becomes a piquant commentary on tensions between nostalgia and reality, the past and the present, and humanity’s need for myths.”—Publishers Weekly

"Set against an absurd backdrop of planetary warfare, in which myriad objects (car parts, paperclips, appliances) tumble from the clouds, and the earth shoots ash and smoke skyward, Parsifal’s story arrives in snapshots and snippets, short clips and punch lines. Krusoe’s swift prose blends references to epic poetry with contemporary fiction techniques, a hybrid of lyrical refrain (à la Carole Maso’s Ava, 1993) and agile irony (dramatic, situational, cosmic) into a quirky, twenty-first-century take on themes of reclamation and identity." —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935639350
Publisher:
Tin House Books
Publication date:
06/18/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
264
File size:
574 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jim Krusoe is the author of the novels Parsifal, Toward You, Erased, Girl Factory, and Iceland; two collections of stories; and five books of poetry. His stories and poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, Bomb, the Chicago Review, the Denver Quarterly, the American Poetry Review, and other publications. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund.

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