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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Although Jonathan Carroll's fiction is consistently death-haunted, it is rarely bleak or morbid, a paradox Carroll sustains in White Apples, which features a (literally) born-again protagonist caught in a bizarre, lethal dilemma. Vincent Ettrich, an advertising man with an uncontrolled passion for women, is informed that he has recently died but has been brought back to life to perform a single, crucial function. His lover, Isabelle, is pregnant with his unborn son, Anjo, who is destined to play a central role in a vast cosmic plan. For Anjo to play his part, he needs the support of both his parents. In particular Anjo needs the knowledge Vincent supposedly acquired through his death. Vincent, however, has no remaining memory of that knowledge, and no idea what to teach his son.
The resulting story is a deliberately chaotic construction that shuttles back and forth between past and present, dreams and reality, showing us a world that can change without warning into something strange, frightening, and new. White Apples is one of Carroll's most playful, eccentric, and entertaining fictions to date. With cheerful disregard for conventional modes of storytelling, Carroll has assembled a coherent narrative mosaic out of an inspired combination of the mysterious and the mundane. Just as he has for more than 20 years, Carroll remains the quirkiest, least predictable of American fantasists. In White Apples, he has produced a dizzying, instantly recognizable narrative that no one else could have written. Bill Sheehan