Scott Brown
May 31, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

You're an Animal, Viskovitz

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Alessandro Boffa
publisher
Knopf
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A

Who is Viskovitz? It would be easy to dismiss him as a pig, if he weren’t also such a rat. Not to mention an elk, a lion, an ant, and so on and so forth. Boffa, in a series of short parables, reincarnates his charming, lovelorn narcissist of a narrator as various fauna, each with its own peculiar (but devastatingly familiar) set of inborn dysfunctions. The whole exercise sounds unbearably cute, but Boffa’s background in biology infuses Viskovitz (his first book) with a wry scientist’s unsentimental observational humor. The resulting genius is in a genus by itself.

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