Craig at BookNotes has some good links on Leslie Marmon Silko’s mammoth novel Almanac of the Dead.
Like Craig, I read the book while in the region where most of it is set, while living in Hermosillo — about four hours by car south of Tucson. To some extent, Silko’s book defined the mental topography for my two years in Mexico… which is a terrifying notion now that I ponder it. Its apocalyptic vision is unrelenting.
763 dense and dizzying pages plumbing the depths of human depravity, and it took me about three attempts to get up enough momentum to finish it… it was grueling at times. Its astonishing range of characters, plots, and ideas – and its unflinching depictions of the grotesque and the perverse – reminded me, strangely enough, of Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, though Silko’s style is far more direct, overtly political and impassioned.
And every day, the world ‘out there’ more closely resembles that horrible world Silko creates between the covers.