I Am Radar

I Am Radar
Genre : Fiction
Published : 24 Mar 2016 - Vintage
In 1975, a black child is mysteriously born to white parents. His name is Radar Radmanovic. Falling in with a secretive group of puppeteers and scientists who stage performances in war zones around the world, he is soon forced to confront the true nature of his identity.

Though Radar is raised in suburban New Jersey, his story rapidly becomes entangled with events stretching from Belgrade in a time of siege to arctic Norway, from Cambodia in the years before the murderous Khmer Rouge regime to the modern-day Congo.

It explores the furthest reaches of quantum physics, forgotten history and human experience. It’s also about one man, one family and how far you may need to travel to know yourself.

I Am Radar is greater than all of its remarkable parts, a breathtaking, highly addictive joyride that finally arrives at a place of wonder.


Gripping… Masterly…This is a sprawling, engrossing novel about the ravages of war and the triumph of art. Larsen is an effortless magician, and his performance here is a pure delight.

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Strange things happen when Radar Radmanovic is around… If Larsen’s story makes demands of its readers, it also offers plenty of rewards. Imaginative, original, nicely surreal.


Big, beautiful, ambitious…Radical physicist puppeteers? It takes narrative magic to pull off such a loopy combination, and luckily, Reif Larsen has it to spare. His prose is addictive and enchanting. In his hands, even the most familiar scenes sparkle…Larsen writes with wit and warmth…Larsen’s ceaselessly lovely prose is matched by his many ambitions. He’s created an odd ship of characters who will venture halfway across the globe for art and science, not for acclaim but to complete their complex, risky creations.

Los Angeles Times

Sprawling, epic… Mental agility is required to appreciate I AM RADAR, and Larsen doesn’t seem interested in making it easy. It can be frustrating struggling to understand how pieces fit together but so delightful and satisfying when they snap into place…The result is impressive and a little bit wondrous.

A. V. Club

I AM RADAR is a more encompassing, more ambitious, more giving novel than even its prodigal younger brother…[Larsen’s] voice is immediately effective, luring the reader into the embrace of a masterful storyteller whom we trust to conduct us on his magical mystery tour…Larsen displays an enormous playfulness and unbounded inventiveness with his tale…This is a novel that scants no aspect of fiction.

Barnes and Nobel

Chameleonic, ambitious, epic, fantastical, whimsical, thought-provoking, arcane, philosophical, exhaustive, and completely bonkers — these are just some of the words that could be used to describe I AM RADAR… Unquestionably one of the more adventurous entries into the literary landscape.

Boston Globe

Larsen rises to the challenge he has set. His prose is angelic, and while the effort to touch on everything threatens to make the book more noise than signal, it’s precisely the noise of modernity that novelists like Larsen are determined to convey. It’s an exhilarating ride.


Large, robust, even intimidating: I Am Radar is never a laborious read. Sentence to sentence, the reader will find small gems and beautiful descriptions of typically ugly places…An intelligent and engaging book.


One of our most highly anticipated novels of the year, I Am Radar is an epic about Radar Radmanovic and his inexplicable link to past and present wars and sieges from the Congo to Yugoslavia…Genre-defying.

Time Out New York

[I AM RADAR] moves beyond the limits of reality.

Vanity Fair

[An] ambitious and otherworldly tale.


I AM RADAR provides oldfangled delights. Larsen can describe humanity at its worst…but his lightness of touch and enjoyably complex characters keep you hoping for the best

James Kidd, Literary Review

Larsen has wit, intelligence, empathy and imagination. What he turns his clear gifts to next promises to be fascinating

Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

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