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$27.00ISBN: 9780802157065Availability: On Our Shelves NowPublished: Grove Press - March 2nd, 2021
Now “reeducated” by his best friend and blood brother Man, our nameless ex-triple agent (see The Sympathizer, the first volume of his “confessions,”), has made his weary, sorrowful way to Paris in the company of his also blood brother and longtime friend Bon. Was the revolution right or wrong? What of those who participated in it? Wrote of it? Fought it? Fought for it underground? Bon knows what he thinks: he has spent his lifetime killing communists. But having spent his adult lifetime as a spook, sleeper, spy, the middle “blood brother,” now haunted by ghosts, crippled by remorse, wracked with doubt, fearful that Bon will find out what he’s done, who he is, knows not what to think. Except that his brain has separated into two parts, his self into two pieces. And that despite disenchantment with the ways the revolution has played out, he still feels in sympathy with parts of it. With parts, it still seems, of many things. He stays with his “aunt” (his handler in former days, actually Man’s aunt) and recognizes in her friends and colleagues a ripe source for doing harm to those with whom he does not sympathize. And because he and Bon have also been told to contact “The Boss,” he has the means: drugs. So the plot thickens into a roux of violence, philosophy, hypocrisy, desperation and treachery as he acts his way into and out of nearly constant chaos and danger, writes his way into and out of wavering sanity, able to sympathize with so many, to understand so little. What is he committed to? Committed for? BOOM! He says, in describing his birth, product of a Vietnamese mother (whom he loved) and a French father (whom he loathes). And BOOM is an apt description for this detonation of words that sob and scream, weep for, tear at the fabric of politics and philosophy, of belief and its opposite.