What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire? by António Lobo Antunes & Gregory Rabassa
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

A soaring, symphonic epic by the Portuguese master novelist, considered to be the "heir to Conrad and Faulkner" (George Steiner).


The razor-thin line between reality and madness is transgressed in this Faulknerian masterpiece, António Lobo Antunes's first novel to appear in English in five years. What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire?, set in the steamy world of Lisbon's demimonde—a nightclub milieu of scorching intensity and kaleidoscopic beauty, a baleful planet populated by drag queens, clowns, and drug addicts—is narrated by Paolo, the son of Lisbon's most legendary transvestite, who searches for his own identity as he recalls the harrowing death of his father, Carlos; the life of Carlos's lover, Rui, a heroin addict and suicide; as well as the other denizens of this hallucinatory world. Psychologically penetrating, pregnant with literary symbolism, and deeply sympathetic in its depiction of society's dregs, Lobo Antunes's novel ventriloquizes the voices of the damned in a poetic masterwork that recalls Joyce's Ulysses with a dizzying farrago of urban images few readers will forget.
 

About António Lobo Antunes & Gregory Rabassa

See more books from this Author
António Lobo Antunes, born in 1942, is the author of novels including What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire? and Act of the Damned. He lives in Lisbon, Portugal. Gregory Rabassa is the recipient of multiple prizes and the translator of One Hundred Years of Solitude, among other classic works.
 
Published September 17, 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company. 608 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for What Can I Do When Everything's On Fire?

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Stealing marches on Faulkner and Joyce, Portuguese novelist Antunes (The Inquisitors’ Manual, 2003, etc.) turns in a contemporary gothic tale delivered in stream-of-consciousness prose, or perhaps better, stream-of-consciousnesses.

Jul 15 2008 | Read Full Review of What Can I Do When Everything...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Mine too maybe mine or the reverse of mine.” Does Antunes risk what the critic Harold Bloom calls “belatedness,” that sense that what he’s doing has already been done — and quite well — before?

Nov 21 2008 | Read Full Review of What Can I Do When Everything...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

“Do you want your wig, father, your lipstick, your creams, do you want me to put the music on, applaud you, bring you the gold dress and the feather stole for your final glory?” As a monologuist of fractured rants, Paulo, like a Presbyterian preacher, proceeds to tell readers what he’s about to ...

Nov 21 2008 | Read Full Review of What Can I Do When Everything...

Bookmarks Magazine

Norton & Company Product Description A soaring, symphonic epic by the Portuguese master novelist, considered to be the "heir to Conrad and Faulkner" (George Steiner).The razor-thin line between...

Oct 05 2008 | Read Full Review of What Can I Do When Everything...

Rate this book!

Add Review
×