.

 

 

 

Kirkus Reviews synopsizes Radix satirically, using sarcasm to keep at bay a literary form and style threatening to the journal’s conservative aesthetic – but the reviewer’s anxiety is amusing, it’s so over the top in its effort to diminish a work that the critic obviously doesn’t understand:

“...it's about 3,000 A.D., long after planet Earth has mutated under the rays from an open black hole, a “naked singularity” – and fat, anxious Sumner Kagan, a food addict who feels he was "BORN TO DREAD," acts out his homicidal fantasies as "Sugarat," a creature who thrives on murder, swelling with importance as a terrorist sought by the police. Seduced by telepathic charmist Jeanlu (a recluse since her family was murdered by the last vestige of civilization, the autocratic Massebôth), Sugarat sires Dai Bodatta, a killer "voor-child" (the voors being a nomadic alien race riding the radiation of the black hole from one universe to another). Dai Bodatta’s mission is to free the voors from the Massebôth and something called the "Delph." And after Jeanlu dies of black fungus (her corpse tries to strangle Sumner), Sugarat is arrested, slimmed down by hard labor, trained as a Ranger, and then given the mission of killing his own five-year-old son Dai Bodatta. . . who has been half-assassinated by Delph nonhuman assassin Nefandi and is now a still-living charred black mummy. When Dai Bodatta attempts to use Sumner's strong new body as his own, Sumner resists; eventually, he shoots the mummy's head off, but then he's tutored by a brain-enhanced ape named Bonescrolls to prepare to allow the "One-Mind" to fight the Delph through him. So Sumner masters kundalini, meets Rubeus the defender of the Delph, and (when Bonescrolls is assassinated by Nefandi) admits the soul of Dai Bodatta into his entity. . . . Sounds complicated? Well, that's only the barest summary: Attanasio tangles this gargantuan fancy with intersecting dimensions, pseudo-philosophy, neologisms galore, and a huge cast of fabulous creatures. But, notwithstanding the ponderous verbiage and metaphysical murk here, the imagination at work is undeniably impressive - and fat, humiliated Sumner/Sugarat is a hero whom fantasy fans will lock into and cheer as he grows into godhood.”