|About the Book|
The story of California real estate developer Brad Shiner and his efforts to reassemble the Great Canvas of 19th-century French painter Adolphe Marchand. An alcoholic tortured by his memories of fighting in Napoleons army, Marchand depicted all of history as a single, monumental battle, but was displeased with his creation and cut it into small pieces, which he sold off one by one to buy wine. As Shiner, himself a strange and troubled soul, begins to track down and collect the pieces, the narrative shifts among Napoleonic France, 1990s California, and many times and places in between, following the paths of these bizarre and possibly cursed artistic abortions. By turns humorous and horrifying, realistic and fantastical, mundane and metaphysical, this novel echoes Pynchon, Borges, and Philip K. Dick in its themes of obsession, paranoia, fetishism, time, and death.