This stimulating and bruising sequel to Scottish author Duncan's neo-Joycean Vellum (2006) projects the endless battle between good and evil onto a kaleidoscopic multitude of parallel alternative realities. Duncan's debut introduced bionanotech-enhanced humans, who clashed with ordinary humans in a 2017 apocalypse. The Carter family of Glasgow guarded the God-commissioned titular Book, but now the scribe and angel Metatron has hidden the Book somewhere in the infinite folds of a realm called the Vellum and is preparing to die. Meanwhile, a host of eerie characters, including foul-mouthed Jack "Flash" Carter, Puck-figure Thomas Messenger and Jack's shrink, Guy Renard Carter, search for the Book. Full of riffs on myths from throughout human history as well as allusions to Euripides'Bacchae, this enormous, stinging, poignant hymn engenders a terrible beauty all its own.
Yes, I'm thinking, "...stimulating and bruising... this enormous, stinging, poignant hymn engenders a terrible beauty all its own." Now that's a fucking good quote!