I Am Radar

I Am Radar

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In 1975, a black child named Radar Radmanovic is mysteriously born to white parents. Though Radar is raised in suburban New Jersey, his story rapidly becomes entangled with terrible events in Yugoslavia, Norway, Cambodia, the Congo, and beyond. Falling in with a secretive group of puppeteers and scientists--who stage experimental art for people suffering under war-time sieges-- Radar is forced to confront the true nature of his identity. In the wreckage of the twentieth century, the characters of I Am Radar hunt for what life and art can still be salvaged. During the civil wars of Yugoslavia, two brothers walk shockingly different paths: one into the rapacious paramilitary forces terrorizing the countryside, the other into the surreal world of besieged Belgrade. In arctic Norway, resistance schoolteachers steal radioactive material from a secret Nazi nuclear reactor to stage a dramatic art performance, with no witnesses. In the years before Cambodia's murderous Khmer Rouge regime, an expatriate French landowner adopts an abandoned native child and creates a lifelong scientific experiment of his new son's education. In the modern-day Congo, a disfigured literature professor assembles the world's largest library in the futile hope that the books will cement a peace in the war-torn country. All of these stories are united in the New Jersey Meadowlands, where a radio operator named Radar struggles with a horrible medical affliction, a set of hapless parents, and--only now, as an adult--all too ordinary white skin.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2015.
ISBN: 9781594206160
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 656 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 27, 2016

The author uses an pedantic pseudo-philosophical avalanche of words to create stories that leaves the reader unfulfilled

Apr 14, 2016

Tiresome, never read much of it.

Jan 09, 2016

I can't emphansize enough how bad this book is. Too long, too boring. You'll waste hours of time, and at the end have no idea what's going on.

Mar 28, 2015

By far, I Am Radar should get points for sheer imaginative storytelling; Larsen brazenly rejects narrative conventions. But ultimately I just tired of the book long before I reached the end. I didn’t rip through this; the story drags and grows tedious in places. Larsen does a remarkable job showing off his love of research, and kudos to him for that, but it’s like he made the novel structure an afterthought, a mere modus operandi for the sake of convenience. As in Larsen’s first novel, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, which I enjoyed, this one is full of marginalia, pictures, excerpts, footnote-type facts, but it just never really comes together and gels into a satisfying story arc. (Clocking in at 600 pages, there should be an arc, for goodness sakes!) Reading it was like observing an ice sculpture that you once marveled at momentarily at the beginning, until it all melted and dribbled away and now you have no recollection of its original form.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCPL

To Top