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Resembling the complex and fragmented way a fly's eye works, Natural Novel contains a myriad of storylines, reflections, and digressions, including a history of toilets and the graffiti found there, a meditation on the relationship between bees and language, and an attempt to write a book using only verbs. Incredibly funny at times, this novel is driven by the narrator's need to come to terms with his dissolving marriage and his wife's infidelity with their close friend. Gospodinov's first novel is both broad in scope and intensely personal, illustrating the impossibility of presenting life truthfully.
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Natural Novel is really an unidentified literary object and is almost impossible to retell. It is at the same time funny and erudite, arrogant and refined, yet brilliant in every respect and innovative in form. Like Fernando Pessoa, Gospodinov has disappeared within his multiple selves (author, narrator, editor, gardener) and has become a detached observer of his own life. The narrative is rich in mini-stories . . . and the composition is multifaceted, like a fly's eye . . . All this informs the postmodern quality of Gospodinov's fiction. The book is laugh-out-loud-funny but also touching; occasionally, it approaches the sublime. When so many postmodern novels are content to play their structural and thematic tricks, Natural Novel is an honest and human tale about loss and the awkward abyss on the other side of divorce. The superb style and flowingly written narrative along with the clever switching between different forms of discourse and genres turn Gospodinov into a harbinger of a new, fruitful literary form. Natural Nove

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