The Only Son
by Stephane Audeguy
$25.00 List Price
The lead characters in the 1999 movie Being John Malkovich discover a portal that lets a traverser actually be, for fifteen minutes, John Malkovich. When Malkovich himself, learning of the portal, traverses it, he finds himself in a nightmarescape in which everyone is a variously distorted version of himself: his head on all the different bodies, and all those various selves able only to mumble, repeatedly, “Malkovich.” It’s a kind of nightmare of influencenot of being influenced, but of influencing.
What is most masterful in Stéphane Audeguy’s beyond charming—but always also charming—second novel, The Only Son, is its imagining of the French Revolution and its bloody aftermath as just such a nightmarescape, albeit not of Malkoviches, but of Jean-Jacques Rousseaus. Not quite literal Rousseaus—it’s not that kind
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