The Lacuna Cabal Montreal Young Woman’s Book Club loves to bring to life tableaux from the books they read. But when they begin to enact the Epic of Gilgamesh, in the early days of the Iraq War, the book begins to enact them instead. And, as it does, the Cabal starts to splinter, driving our narrators out of their own tale.
Cross-dressing Aline becomes obsessed with the Baghdad Blogger, Anna with dabbling in prostitution, and Emily with the maker of the Fitzbot, an ambulatory artificial-intelligence experiment. In the centre of it all is Runner Coghill, who is still mourning her twin sister and who brought to the group the ten priceless cuneiform Gilgamesh stones.
Underlying it all is the tale of telling the tale, the convolutedness and self-consciousness of our delightful narrators, Jennifer and Danielle, as they reconstruct the tangled story to bring us a novel that is cryptographically charming and eruditely engrossing.
‘A sort of Tristram Shandy for the twenty-first century, Sean Dixon’s first novel is an intellectual, sexual, logorrheac, bibliophilic, cryptological, political and archaeological rant of the first order. It’ll change your idea of what “written in stone” means, and it’ll blow your mind too.’ – Michael Redhill