Just finished The Lazarus Project. Recommended. Rather than trying to write something intelligent about the book at this time of night, I’d suggest checking James Wood’s review here and Chris Flynn’s here.

For instance, Wood says:

When he arrived here [the USA], at the age of twenty-eight, Hemon had what his publisher calls only a “basic command” of English. Eight years later, “The Question of Bruno” appeared, stories written in an English remarkable for its polish, lustre, and sardonic control of register. This conversion is often described as “Nabokovian,” and, indeed, Hemon’s writing sometimes reminds one of Nabokov’s. (Hemon has said that he learned English by reading Nabokov and underlining the words he didn’t recognize.) Yet the feat of his reinvention exceeds the Russian’s. Nabokov grew up reading English, and had been educated at Cambridge. When his American career began, in 1940, he was almost middle-aged, and had long experience in at least three languages. Hemon, by contrast, tore through his development in the new language with hyperthyroidal speed.

Hyperthyroidal! That’s FAST.

And Flynn says:

As a Bosnian writing in English he feels none of the trepidation most non-English writers do about “getting it wrong.” Released from such constrictions, his prose is natural and flowing, peppered with rich, satisfying phrases. A slug in the rain is described so: “The wet dew on its back twinkled: it looked like a severed tongue.” A “wet loaf of bread” is seen to have “excited ants crawling all over it, as if building a pyramid.” The ass of a horse taking a poop opens slowly, “like a camera aperture.”

“The ass of a horse.” Ha!

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