Random House, 1992
Guided by clues in his grandfather’s diary, the world-weary bon vivant Aaron X travels to the dense forests of Romania’s Carpathian mountains in search of the mythic Conglomeros – in appearance a hideous monster, but by nature a gently trusting and intelligent soul. The Conglomeros touches a responsive chord in Aaron’s jaded heart; unable to give up the one beautiful thing in his life, he rashly smuggles the monster home to New York. Aaron has great plans for the creature: He will care for it, teach it to speak, turn it into the perfect, loyal companion. But all of his well-intentioned plans go awry, and Aaron, realizing – too late? – that he has somehow corrupted the sublime being, now has but one purpose in life: to untame and set free the thing he loves most.
Praise for Conglomeros
“Drawing on Poe and Kafka, Browner weaves a darkly haunting parable that speaks simultaneously of the death of beauty and goodness in the world… and the huge, untapped potential of the human unconscious.” — Publisher’s Weekly
“Conglomeros owes so much to so many predecessors – fromFrankenstein to Lolita to E.T. – that one almost doesn’t know where to begin in terms of chronicling its allusiveness. But this first novel’s cultural antecedents are handled with such deftness and slyness, and synthesized to such good purpose, that the overall effect is beguiling: a collage of familiar images that becomes a single new thing.”
— Jim Shepard,L.A. Times