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Pfitz A Novel

Andrew Crumey

Picador

0312195508

9780312195502

Trade Paperback

192 Pages

$17.00

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A New York Times Notable Book

In this playful and surprisingly affecting novel, recalling the philosophical tales of Diderot and Voltaire, a powerful 18th-century prince, seeking his own immortality, devotes his entire wealth and the energy of his subjects to the creation of Rreinnstadt, a fantastic city that exists only on paper and in the minds of its creators. Maps must be drawn, streets given names, buildings planned, and citizens created with complete biographies and all the foibles of the human condition.

Among Rreinnstadt's fictional inhabitants is Pfitz, a count's loyal servant who mysteriously disappears one night from a tavern. Enamored of Pfitz's real-life biographer Estrella, one of the city's cartographers sets out on a quest to find Pfitz, hoping he will be rewarded by Estrella's love. His search leads him into a story of jealousy, intrigue, and murder, and into a city whose population includes a man in love with shadows, another who trains performing bees, and a writer who is driven insane by the suspicion that he is the concoction of a collective delusion.

REVIEWS

Praise for Pfitz

"Crumey has written a fantastic novel about a fantasy. . . . Real and unreal merge, interact, and form a tale that is part quirky amusement and part sly satire."—Phoebe-Lou Adams, The Atlantic Monthly

"[Crumey]develops his story with admirable rigor, seizing on both the comic and the philosophical potential of a world in which the actual and the imagined have become fatally blurred."—Andrew Miller, The New York Times Book Review

"Built out of fantasy, Andrew Crumey's novel stands, like the monumental museum at the centre of its imaginary city, as an edifice of erudition."—Andrea Ashworth, The Times Literary Supplement

"Crumey is a daring writer: Using the stuff of fairy tales, he ponders the difference between fact and fiction, weaving together philosophy and fantasy to create a magical, witty novel."—The Sunday Times (London)

"Crumey sends imagination and reason on a collision course. . . . Like a Viennese music box, Crumey's meditations on language and meaning are tightly wound machines."—Alyssa Katz, Newsday

"There is enchanting, provocative magic afoot in every layer of Crumey's world."—Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times

"A heady concoction, deeply inventive, displaying an abundance of humor as well as a convincing celebration of the lusty enchantments of youth. A real treat."—Kirkus Reviews

"[Crumey] is a captivating storyteller who innovatively weaves together several plotlines with philosophical attention to the writer-reader relationships."—Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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Andrew Crumey studied Theoretical Physics and Mathematics at St. Andrews University and Imperial College, and did postdoctoral research at Leeds University on nonlinear dynamics. He received Scotland's Saltire Prize for Best First Novel for Music, In a Foreign Language. He lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Andrew Crumey

  • Andrew Crumey was born in Glasgow in 1961 and is the author of Mr. Mee, Music, in a Foreign Language, and D'Alembert's Principle. He studied theoretical physics and mathematics at St. Andrews University and Imperial College, and did postdoctoral research at Leeds University on nonlinear dynamics. He received Scotland's Saltire Prize for Best First Novel for Music, in a Foreign Language. He lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
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