Leo coverleo@fergusrules.com
 

Arne Tangherlini

With an Afterword by Pagan Kennedy

Leapfrog Press
FICTION
Paperback Original
ISBN: 0-9654578-7-7
216 Pages / 5 x 7 3/4
$14.95 (Amazon price - $10.46)
(Click here to order)

eonora (Leo) is an Italian Asian American teenager with a rotten attitude and a genius I.Q. Thrown out of twelve schools and fluent in as many languages, she's sent to live with her grandmother in the Philippines, where she spends all her time in a computer environment called Apeiron—a parasitic virtual reality program which drove its mad creator to dive headlong into a gorge. Only in Apeiron can Leo shed the awkward body of an adolescent girl and emerge in the persona of Fergus, the warrior; only in Apeiron can she hobnob with Socrates and John Lennon. But one day the only boy she's ever liked disappears, and Leo, in a quest to rescue him, finds herself lured into the program's computer generated hell. A post-modern tilt at Alice in Wonderland, a computer-age Catcher in the Rye, Leo@fergusrules.com is above all the story of a young woman's search for the lost world of her ancestors in a society in which technology has replaced community.

Reviews

"Alice in Cyberland! With uncommon energy and sophistication, Arne Tangherlini's LEO deploys a fantastical vehicle to speak movingly of its young heroine's difficult coming of age. A brilliant and engaging first novel."
- John Barth
 
"I wasn't in store for such a good book. If ever a writer's reputation can be established just with one published work, this one's it. In a nutshell it's one helluva novel: vibrant, vital, energetic, polished, quick, funny, rich, imaginative, sad and powerful and original. It's also something most first novels aren't: deeply intelligent, eminently readable, highly exotic, and practically flawless. It's as if all of Mr. Tangherlini's previous unpublished fiction was a sharpening of the stick for this one. I couldn't put the darn thing down and I immediately knew I'd soon be reading it again. Dialog, characterizations, story, structure, all work remarkably well together, producing the genuine article and a work of art. What I also found unusual was how he was able to master a foreign culture and incorporate it into so contemporary a novel. The reader should prepare himself for a highly charged, entertaining and engrossing experience, and before you know it, damn, the book's over with."
- Stephen Dixon
 
"Leo@fergusrules.com reminds me of the novels I loved as a kid, Narnia, Alice, Phantom Tollbooth - books that are secret gardens, with pages that whisper of other worlds. And yet, because of its literary allusions (Borges, Eco, Dante et. al.) and challenging ideas, it definitely belongs in the adult section. The narrator, a hormone-addled teen girl, dons a virtual-reality visor and goes off on a heroic journey that would make Joseph Campbell's head spin. On the way, she encounters mythological beasts from her Philippine grandmother's stories, a gaggle of mall rats, and a Zamboni ice-cleaner that's a portal to another dimension. Leo@fergusrules.com is a bit like a virtual-reality visor itself - disorienting, new, and utterly diverting.
- Pagan Kennedy


Arne Tangherlini received his A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard and his M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He was a teacher for many years both in the Philippines and the United States and the co-author of Smart Kids: How Academic Talents are Nurtured and Developed in America.

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