Chris Genoa
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Chris Genoa
Eraserhead Press
300 pages
April 2005
rated 2 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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This debut by a writer who combines the whimsical with the capricious, science fact with science fiction, has an allure for any reader who has ever been desirous of finding him/herself in another time, in another place, with a chance to re-visit a fine memory or be a part of some historical event. Many have made the attempt - H.G. Wells, Madeleine L'Engle (in a peripheral fashion with her ingenious A Wrinkle in Time) - because the idea is so universally appealing.

Genoa has his own take, and though the opening chapters draw us into his own little time morphing world, ultimately the book is a letdown. The back and forth jumps - the Foop of it - become so complex as to be impossible to follow. Joe, an employee of Dactyl, Inc., is promoted to Chief of Probes. He's sent back to stop the abuse of his boss, but then another wormhole opens (the slice in space) and the boss appears, and the boss disappears, and Joe appears, and he disappears, and at point in time, nobody cares about anybody - least of all the reader for the literary characters.

There are funny moments - a blind monkey who has more sense than any human creature sent back with Joe to lasso (his specialty) these abusers of Joe's current boss - but most of them are simply page fillers.

Genoa had a wonderful idea, but the book got away from him; the final chapters jump around so much, it seems obvious that the writer didn't know how to end his tale so he kept wandering around the inner chambers of his own imagination in hopes of stumbling down a wormhole that might hold an answer.

He's currently working on books two and three and they will certainly be worth looking for.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2005

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