September 26, 2005 12:00 PM

By Rick Moody


Moody’s wildly entertaining latest is about a treatment for a TV miniseries, also called The Diviners, that aims to depict virtually every ethnic group and time period in history. A crowd-pleaser for every crowd! The catch? The screenplay that the treatment synopsizes doesn’t actually exist. But the development exec, the agent, the Manhattan PR girls and almost everyone else viciously vying for a piece of the project don’t know it’s a fake. Moody tells each of these characters’ stories in appropriately episodic fashion, offering up their urges and desires in his distinctive exuberant prose. So, sure, many of the hilariously unrestrained tangents (including one involving an abundance of Krispy Kremes) feel a little extraneous. But ambitious readers won’t hold that against this book. They’ll find The Diviners a prescient thrill ride through the flawed-but-promising America of the year 2000.

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