A stirring new masterpiece from the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award–winning author of Cockroach and De Niro’s Game.
Raised in the circus, the son of a golden-haired trapeze artist and a flying-carpet man, Fly sees everything, taking in all of the city’s carnivalesque beauty and ugliness as he roves through its dizzying streets in his taxi. Fly is a reader, too, and when he’s not in his taxi he is at home in the equally dizzying labyrinth of books that fills his tiny apartment. His best friend is Otto, a political activist who’s in and out of jails and asylums, mourning his dead wife and lost foster son. On one otherwise tawdry night Fly meets Mary, a book-loving passenger with a domineering husband. So begins a romance that is, for Fly, a brief glimmer of light amid the shadows and grit of the Carnival city.
Along with Otto and Mary, Fly introduces us to madmen and revolutionaries, magicians and prostitutes as he picks them up and drops them off, traveling through a nightmarish town that is—we can’t help but notice—a parable for our own debauched, unjust world.
Wildly imaginative and darkly ironic, Carnival is a magnificent achievement.
About Rawi HageSee more books from this Author
...Carnival is not a masterpiece – it is a rich and often beautiful, brave, engrossing, intelligent, literate, funny and very human novel, yet it is not quite as fine as it hopes to be.Read Full Review of Carnival: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian
These are relatively minor flaws in an otherwise accomplished and complex novel. At its best, Carnival reconceives the existential darkness of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, projects it against a carnivalesque backdrop and infuses it with a startlingly worldly and erudite perspective.Read Full Review of Carnival: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts