By Laird Hunt
Coffee House Press, Hardcover, 9781566891172, 205pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2001
Surrealism meets noir in this brilliant, witty, chilling novel of international espionage.
Hunt is an intellect and a great spinner of claustrophobic noir plots, and his erudite gumshoe yarn owes as much to George Perec and Gertrude Stein as it does to Paul Auster.” The Believer
Every once in a long while, you discover a novel unlike anything else you’ve ever read. Laird Hunt’s debut is one of them. Innovative, comic, bizarre and beautiful.” Time Out New York
A fractured espionage story, John le Carré à la Borges.” The Stranger
For 200 pages, Hunt sustains an atmosphere of severe disorientation, packing his story with more curious and vaguely menacing strangers than a David Lynch movie. . . . The book’s many layers and difficult questions make it an ideal candidate for an adventurous book club.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Impossibly is one of the most exciting debut novels I have ever read. . . . While most Kafka comparisons are specious and overstated, Hunt’s subtle humor, sophisticated intelligence and the graceful timbre of his prose place this novel firmly in the tradition of The Castle, as well as Nabokov’s The Eye and Thomas Bernhard’s The Loser. This is high praise indeed, but The Impossibly is a marvelous, wonderful novel.” Review of Contemporary Fiction
"[Laird Hunt] captures the tone of Paul Auster’s City of Glass in the first few chapters, and he brings a decidedly Kafkaesque feel to the spy’s early adventures.” Publishers Weekly
Hunt debuts with a stylish, if opaque, noir tale about a hit man who falls in love, takes a break, and incurs the wrath of his organization. . . . The mystery runs at all levels here, and the style and situation have appeal.” Kirkus Reviews
The Impossibly, Laird Hunt’s first novel, is a challenging and inventive work, alternately chilling and humorous, that breaks new ground in the world of speculative fiction. Diffuse with noir tropes stripped of their origins, it leaves the reader with a map of the complicit mind trying to deal with perversity and adversity in a violent world.” Rain Taxi Review of Books
From the title to the last, dreamlike passage, Hunt’s novel is a deliberate, sometimes striking conundrum, one with its origins deep in the heart of traditional genres (in particular, hardboiled detective fiction and international spy thrillers), but with ambitions that extend into knotty problems of narrative, language, and meaning.” American Book Review