The sky isn’t falling in Parsifal, Jim Krusoe’s latest novel—but everything else is. Paper clips, cutting boards, and a Chevy Impala are just a few of the items that rain down from above in this dystopian novel. Why? Simply put, there is “a war between the earth and sky.”
But fountain-pen repairman Parsifal has other concerns. Thoroughly scarred by his past, Parsifal leaves an urban life to return to his childhood forest home. In this holy-grail story, though, the object Parsifal seeks is simply the drinking cup he used when he was young. Parsifal’s journey takes him back into the wilderness both literally and metaphorically. As he wanders the woods in search of his home, dodging falling deep-fat turkey-fryers and washer-dryers, he replays scenes from his upbringing, reminisces about the many librarians he’s had affairs with, and reconsiders conversations with his therapist, Joe.
Although Parsifal has the trappings of adulthood—home-ownership, jail time served, and a fleet of ex-lovers—his essential attitude toward life has remained childlike. It’s youthful trust and hopefulness that lead him deeper and deeper into the woods, fueling his dreamlike, at times even poetic, meditations on good, evil, blindness, and sight. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether he finds the cup. As Parsifal’s mother says, “It only matters if you try, my son, because all searches are the same search.”