(CCLaP is dedicated to reviewing as many contemporary books as possible, including self-published volumes; click here to learn how to submit your own book for possible review, although be warned that it needs to have been published within the last 18 months to be considered. For the complete list of all books reviewed here, as well as the next books scheduled to be read, click here.)
The Search for Heinrich Schlogel
By Martha Baillie
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
This is the newest title to arrive in our mailbox from our friends at Canadian experimental publisher Pedlar Press, and I'm always glad to receive their gorgeous and well-done books, even though I have to admit that I'm usually only so-so about their actual avant-garde contents. In this case, that's a fictional biography of a man who doesn't seem at first to have done much worth writing about, but that in good Nabokovian style quickly turns into much more -- a meditation on existence by the obsessed biographer telling the tale, the dreamlike narrative of the subject's day-to-day life, and a clever collection of scanned found objects associated with the mystery, done up in Pedlar's usual beautiful design and attention to detail. Not a book for those expecting a traditional three-act tale, what you think of the story itself will depend a lot on what you think of experimental literature to begin with; but Pedlar at least always puts out some of the best-looking and most conceptually solid experimental books currently on the market, which is what makes finding a new title in the mail always a treat.
Out of 10: 8.0, or 9.0 for fans of experimental literature