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Last edited: 19/06/2021
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Toby Green
Thomas More's Magician
404 pages
It first appears to be an academic history of the activities of Vasco de Quiroga, the influential colonial official and bishop in 16th C Mexico; it has the requisite footnotes, documentation, etc. But perhaps this reader should have heeded the subtitle: "A Novel Account of Utopia in Mexico." Silly me, I took the word 'novel' in its root meaning of 'new' or 'unusual.' I was halfway through the first chapter before I divined that author Toby Green had 'fiction' in mind for me. In fact, the book is about half-and-half -- half a highly conjectural history of Quiroga's activities, and half a series of surreal dialogues between the author/researcher and personages that range from a cranky New England codger, to a sainted Mexico City cabdriver, to a shamanesque market vender. The interfoliation of these two formats is imaginative but ultimately frustrating. About 200 pages into the book, I gave up

The book in hand is hard to read, confusing, and not for any good reasons of a highly layered plot, but just because it is so boring one loses the will to keep up.

Don't bother, stay away!
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