Who's Who When Everyone Is Someone Else

C.D. Rose's second novel, Who's Who When Everyone Is Someone Else, is an offbeat little book for people who love books.

An unnamed author is invited to give a series of lectures on forgotten books in an unnamed European city. The professor who invited him never shows up and his talks are roundly criticized by the bizarre university staff he does meet. But his main reason for visiting was to find the grave of his favorite writer, who's very controversial in this country, and also may not exist. What follows is a thoughtful, funny romp through a mysterious town and literature both real and imagined.

Rose (The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure) has invented dozens of books for the narrator to discuss, all so compelling that one wishes they could be found in a dusty bookshop in the real world. His lectures, included in their entirety, make this a book not just about but also of literary criticism--even if the texts he discusses are fictional--with thoughts on crime novels, romance, children's literature, literary fiction and more. He encounters many recognizable book world issues, both blithe and broad: competition among writers, poorly attended events, the difficulty of separating an author from her work, the role of the critic and the age-old problem of too many books to read. Who's Who is itself a testament to what its narrator believes--the power of fiction as truth and as escape. --Katy Hershberger, freelance writer and bookseller

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