By Troy Patterson
Updated July 14, 2006 04:00 AM
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You could say Edmundo Paz Soldán’s sixth novel reads like a trash page-turner — I dunno, pick one about codes — reworked by puzzle-master Jorge Luis Borges. Or you could describe it as a hybrid of cyberpunk and political thrillers. Paz Soldán writes about spymasters, their foes, and their psychology as well as John le Carré. In a present-day Bolivia one step away from hardening into a dictatorship, the book follows a rumpled cryptographer, his dyspeptic boss, and a superstar teenage hacker (”Kandinsky has easily paralyzed the government whenever he has felt like it”). While Turing’s Delirium is a bit too breezy to pull off its weightier aspirations, it’s also sleek, brisk, and clever.