A review of
by Steve Erickson
Since his 1985 debut, Days Between Stations, Steve Erickson has published extraordinary novel after extraordinary novel, each one exploring a different terrain of our national psyche. If there’s a surrealist quality to his fiction, it’s likely because Erickson recognizes as well as any artist working today the surrealist quality of our real world. That being said, I hope he doesn’t quit his day job. As a film critic for Los Angeles magazine, he clearly appreciates the cultural relevance—and limitations—of cinema like no thinker since Walter Benjamin, and his massive body of Hollywood knowledge, lore, and theory informs his magnificent Zeroville in countless ways.
Mind you, any synopsis of Zeroville is doomed to fail, either from vagueness or from the wanton spoiling of its many surprises. The numbered chapters reel up to 227, which in its entirety reads, “Vikar doesn’t know it, but everything now has been reset to zero.” After that, the chapter numbers unspool back down to the final page.
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