Zach Breeding, one of our 2020 STL SPEX interns, reads The Taiga Syndrome (from Dorothy, a publishing project):
David Lynch meets the Brother’s Grimm meets detective fiction, The Taiga Syndrome is an incredible journey into the unknown and known making both fantastical and, simultaneously, utterly believable. Our unnamed detective figure seems to occupy some liminal space between a fairy-tale reality and a market capitalist critique fantasy. The rhetoric and prose of the novel, however, cuts to the bone. At its most basic The Taiga Syndrome is a detective novel retelling of Hansel and Gretel. The story is gripping and at the same time fun as hell. Yet, the novel aspires to and achieves much more. Some of my favorite moments of the novel are not the story but the moments of introspection which our detective has; the insight in these sections such as “Places where sex is sold are the same everywhere” are at once seemingly out of place in the story but when pieced together into the context of our narrator’s entire journey speak fathoms about our society and the anxieties it inspires. I would recommend The Taiga Syndrome to anyone who is a fan of the three above mentioned genres, if one could call David Lynch a genre, as there is something for just about everyone in this succinct novella.
If you enjoyed The Taiga Syndrome I would highly recommend watching Twin Peaks, assuming you haven’t seen it yet, as well as reading either Libra or White Noise by Don DeLillo who also, though certainly less explicitly than Cristina Rivera Garza, blends our own unbelievable world with very believable fantasies.