Sergio De Pava A Naked Singularity

ISBN 13: 9781436341981

A Naked Singularity

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9781436341981: A Naked Singularity
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A novel wherein Casi, a young NYC public defender and son of Colombian immigrants, will suffer his first loss at trial then seek to reduce the sting of that defeat by using inside information to meticulously plan and execute a heist of illicit millions. Where said actions will not only come to the attention of a persistent police detective but also unleash a menacing giant bent on violent revenge; two pursuers Casi must then outrace while navigating a world expanded by theoretical physics to encompass the rise and fall of boxer Wilfred Benitez, Alabama s death row, psych experiments involving Ralph Kramden, and enough comedic energy to power the stars.
A Naked Singularity is a perfect example: it s by first-time author Sergio De La Pava, it was published by Xlibris in 2008 with no fanfare and no acclaim, and it s a masterpiece. The book s plot is at once simple a grubbily valorous lawyer in the New York public defender s office buffeted by conscience and tempted by the possibility of an illicit fortune, takes on the case of Alabama death row inmate Jalen Kingg and watches his entire life spin out of control and bewilderingly complex, involving hundreds of outsized characters and thousands of digressions on topics ranging across the entirety of the 21st century intellectual spectrum, from baseball to pop culture to (as its title suggests) particle physics. In its sheer scope, its extended stretches of rhetorical razzle dazzle, and the utterly deadpan way it grapples with all that s darkest in human nature, A Naked Singularity propels the reader into a literary maelstrom worthy of Pynchon, and Gaddis....[T]he fulcrum of criminal justice allows A Naked Singularity to explore the wide array of subjects that obsess its author; whaling gave Melville the same freedom in Moby-Dick, and in both books, characters converse in baroque homilies that are as far from the bulleted minimalism of modern fiction as it s possible to imagine. This is very much the Karamazov, not the Coen, brothers . . . I didn t miss A Naked Singularity and neither should you

Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly Arts & Literature Microreview 4/8/09

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About the Author:

Sergio De La Pava is a writer who does not live in Brooklyn.

Review:

Winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Best Debut Novel of 2012 (PEN)

"One of the 10 best fiction books of 2012. . . . A propulsive, mind-bending experience. . . . The novel's chaotic sprawl, black humor and madcap digressions make it a thrilling rejoinder to the tidy story arcs portrayed on television and in most crime fiction. . . . Whatever the book loses in polish it amply repays in its uncompromising originality." (Wall Street Journal)

"A Naked Singularity is not about physics. It's about the American criminal justice system in a large and chaotic city, a place slowly crushed by hopelessness in the same way that an ancient star is gradually crushed by gravity. . . . The novel is a densely packed and offhandedly poetic 678 pages. . . . It is about a city that teeters on the edge of total collapse and complete disaster, but that has the capacity to right itself (whew!) at the last possible second. . . . The novel is a cross between Moby-Dick and Police Academy. Between Descartes and Disneyland. Between Henry James and Henry Winkler." (Julia Keller Chicago Tribune)

"Mesmerising." (Times of London)

"This book is ambitious. It's 678 octavo pages--about 13,000 tweets. It's the sort of book you write if you're not sure anyone will ever let you write another one. . . . Even while the lives it describes are often bleak, the book is funny, consistently so. . . . The heist is discussed so exhaustively that when it finally transpires it's thrilling. Casi's defendants, all messes, are lovely and authentic. I could have done with a whole book about them, or rather I enjoyed the whole book about them I read in the middle of this much larger book about other things. A story of a death penalty case begins drenched in irony and grows ever more serious. . . . It's a fine thing for an author to bring forth something so unapologetically maximalist."

(Paul Ford Slate)

"Casi's voice is the combination of brashness and world-weary humanity you'd find in a cynic who'd been scratched to reveal the disappointed idealist beneath. . . . The whole feels like The Recognitions as legal thriller, a glorious mess with dashes of Powers, minor Pynchon, and White Noise, among many others. . . . [I]n its ambitions and shortcomings and shaggy glory, A Naked Singularity is perhaps most reminiscent of The Broom of the System. So that bodes well." (Tim Feeney Review of Contemporary Fiction)

"One of the best and most original novels of the decade. . . . It's one of those fantastic, big, messy books like Darconville's Cat or Infinite Jest or Women and Men, though it's not really like any of those books or those writers. . . . . But see here: I refuse to divulge too much of the plot, because watching it unfold is one of the great joys of the novel. . . . . What I keep coming back to is the audacity of this novel, which is truly a towering, impressive work--De La Pava's not hesitant to break and then mirror the narrative with the story of professional boxer Wilfred Benitez, or insert a recipe, none of which hinder the narrative but rather shape the entirety of the book, making the actual story and its effect on the characters (and the characters' actions that shape the story, et cetera) more profound. . . .  If you like The Wire, if you like rewarding, difficult fiction, if you like literary, high-quality artistic and hilarious yet moving novels that are difficult to put down, I can’t recommend A Naked Singularity enough."

(Scott Bryan Wilson The Quarterly Conversation)

"A Naked Singularity looks like an unreadable brick, bloated at 700 pages and likely dense with esoterica. Instead it is a fine encyclopedic romp in the Joyce/Pynchon/Wallace tradition, one with an effortless flow and arresting setting: the American judicial system as vortical funhouse." (Miles Klee The Notes)

"Weird, brilliant." (Steve Donoghue The National)

"The manic prose fights viciously against an ultimate collapse of good into evil--but not only is there no escape; there was never any such thing." (Miles Klee Flavorwire)

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Sergio De Pava
Published by Xlibris Corporation (2008)
ISBN 10: 1436341981 ISBN 13: 9781436341981
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