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“I Am Radar revolves around questions of art, creation, love, heartbreak, performance, war, and regeneration. Sounds like heady stuff, and it is, but on an immensely readable level that culminates in a puzzling yet delightful climax. As Radar navigates his way through life as a black child, a white man, and a white/black man, he discovers that art can be perception and science can be art. The language used is delightfully beautiful, even in the war scenes. I Am Radar may also be the best book about personal definitions of art in our time, as well as how art can affect and change a person. I cannot recommend it highly enough!”
— William Carl, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN
Big, beautiful, ambitious . . . It takes narrative magic to pull off such a loopycombination, and luckily, Reif Larsen has it to spare. His prose is addictiveand enchanting. Los Angeles Times
The moment just before Radar Radmanovic is born, the hospital's electricity fails. The delivery takes place in total darkness. Lights back on, everyone present sees a healthy baby boy with jet-black skin born to the stunned white parents. No one understands the uncanny electrical event or the unexpected skin color. A childbirth is an explosion, an ancient physician explains. Some shrapnel is inevitable, isn t it?
A kaleidoscopic novel both heartbreaking and dazzling, Reif Larsen's I Am Radar rapidly explodes outward from Radar's strange birth. In World War II Norway, a cadre of imprisoned schoolteachers founds a radical secret society that will hover on the margins of history for decades to come, performing acts of radical art and experimental science in the midst of conflict zones from embattled Bosnia to Khmer Rouge Cambodia and the contemporary Congo. All of these stories are linked by Radar now a gifted radio operator living in the New Jersey Meadowlands who struggles with love, a set of hapless parents, and a terrible medical affliction that he has only just begun to comprehend.
Drawing on the furthest reaches of quantum physics, forgotten history, and mind-bending art, Larsen sI Am Radaris a triumph of storytelling at its most primal, elegant, and epic: a breathtaking journey through humanity's darkest hours, yet one that arrives at a place of shocking wonder and redemption.
Praise for I Am Radar
A deeply patterned narrative that darts easily from small-bore domestic dramas to sweeping historical catastrophes with just the right fillip of silliness and levity to keep the whole text eminently approachable. The New York Times Book Review