Alliterative Analogies, assertively assembled, appear aplenty, appropriately, apt and artful, absorbing attention ad infinitum. This could be a fitting summary of Abish's stunningly "now" novel, written almost a quarter of a century ago with a linguistic device concocted between Kabbala and alliteration. Chapter 1 is composed with words beginning only with the letter A, Chapter 2 with A and B and so on until chapter 27, when Z first, then chapter by chapter all other letters, are progressively subtracted. In spite of a scheme tracing back to the beginning of written literature, the novel tells of deeds and characters so surprisingly contemporary, they may have been culled from today's headlines: polysexually inclined thugs hide in Africa after a crime spree, with the Author in pursuit of the woman who betrayed them. Chasing after the thugs from country to country, we are introduced to a ruler queen transvestite, war and genocide, corrupted burocrats and soldiers, rampant corruption in a landscape still in hot air, where sparsely assembled people wollow in African Indolence. All is narrated with poetic detachment, in a dimension between joke and dream that implies social, political and historical commentary with what appears linguistical accidentality: it is just that the words were limited by my artifice, reader, the Author seems to smile. No harm intended. Perhaps: the scenario may have seemed so far fetched in 1974, to have been deemed the product of unabridged fantasy. Great art, when unhindered, relates to the whole of time, in all tenses. While amusing, Abish has managed a ponderous read, which meandering on through verisimilar everyday history of attitudes and practices, inserts deep philosophical reflections as light as the puns enclosing them and extends like a prophecy to contemporary events. Attentive readers will delight in finding the one slip from the add-subtract letter scheme. And wonder: was it accidental? "In order to be perfect, all I lack is a defect" goes an ancient italian folk ironic couplet.