luminous novel crafted in meticulous detail with shimmering language, D'Erasmo's third book tells the story of Gabriel Collins' life, beginning with his father's abandonment when Gabriel was a child and tracing his ambivalent search for wholeness through adolescence and into adulthood. An obituary writer for a half-assed tourist newspaper in post-9/11 Manhattan, Gabriel is also an artist, creating still lifes from found and stolen objects. Gabriel's lover, Janos, a wealthy financier, hopes that Gabriel will abandon his marginal life and move in with him, but Gabriel steadfastly refuses, even when a health crisis threatens to undo him. An impulsive trip to Mexico leads him to a hardscrabble commune where he finds a belated clarity. The descriptions of Gabriel's artwork and his daily struggles comprise a dizzying trip through metaphor and expression, the undisputed centerpiece of which is the dazzling, complicated narration in vivid prose. This is a demanding and immensely satisfying novel, and certainly one of the better New York artist novels in recent memory.
-Publishers Weekly, starred review