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Buy This Book: Panopticon by David Bajo


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Quickly rising to the top of my TBR pile is David Bajo's tantalizing Panopticon fresh out a few weeks ago.

From the flap:
As the California borderland newspaper where they work prepares to close, three reporters are oddly given assignments to return to stories they've covered before -- each one surprisingly personal. The first assignment takes reporter Aaron Klinsman and photographer Rita Valdez to an abandoned motel room where the mirrors are draped with towels, bits of black tape cover the doorknobs, and the perfect trace of a woman's body is imprinted on the bed sheets. From this sexually charged beginning on land his family used to own, Klinsman, Rita, and their colleague, Oscar Medem understand that they are supposed to uncover something. They just don t know what. Following the moonlit paths their assignments reveal through the bars, factories and complex streets of Tijuana and Otay, haunted by the femicides that have spread westward from Juarez, the reporters become more intimately entwined. Tracing the images they uncover, and those they cause and leave behind, they soon realize that every move they make is under surveillance. Beyond this, it seems their private lives and even their memories are being reconstructed by others. Panopticon is a novel of dreamlike appearances and almost supernatural memories, a world of hidden watchers that evokes the dark recognition of just how little we can protect even our most private moments. It is a shadowy, erotic novel only slightly speculative that opens into the world we all now occupy."

PW called Bajo's first novel, The 351 Books of Irma Arcuri, an "intriguing debut, a love story wrapped in a bibliomaniacal whodunit with a hall-of-mirrors bow on top." Sounds promising...

Watch this space tomorrow. David Bajo stops by to talk about the sex, spyware, and the genesis of his mind-bending new novel.

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