Hari Kunzru - Gods Without Men (4 stars)

Hari Kunzru - Gods Without Men

A centuries-spanning, multi-character masterpiece from Kunzru

(Hamish Hamilton)

Not many books start with a coyote smoking pot. But then Hari Kunzru is not your average novelist. His latest endeavour is a dazzling collection of snapshots taken at various points in time between 1775 and 2009, as we dip in and out of an assortment of lives, all seemingly centred around The Pinnacles, a mystical rock formation in the Californian desert.

Kunzru introduces us to lonely sky-watchers, a British rock star ridden with existential angst, a Goth escapee from Iraq, a young couple struggling with their autistic son, cults of dodgy ‘saucer people’, missing children, and men as animals and animals as men: all of whom are cleverly linked in this intricately pieced together tale. With the world in constant flux, people go to the rocks searching for meaning, patterns, signals, any form of escape, and the author’s sharp wit, well-executed reveals and masterful use of language and tone ensure we are hooked from beginning to end.

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