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A hallucinatory and startlingly powerful first novel, a darkly visionary On the Road for the upcoming millennium, The Museum of Love traces the macabre and compelling journey of a young French Canadian from his oppressive home town on the shores of Lake Superior across North America. His father is a morbid prison guard, his mother a mystical Catholic, his brother an adolescent saint and martyr while he, an innocent and receptive vessel, fiercely intelligent, anti-religious and tentatively homosexual, inhabits a vivid and strangely lit yet oddly recognizable world—the one that exists only on the inside of a dreamer’s eyelids, between the bed and the wall.
As Jean-Michel Verhaeren makes his surreal journey of madness and freedom, he experiences the walking wounded, suicides of friends, hostile geographies and periodic moments of extreme clarity—ecstatic visits to the Museums of Negritude, Religion, Love and Death. A work of phantasmagorias and ecstasies, of brutality and tenderness, The Museum of Love is an extraordinary debut.