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Benjamin Hackett -- frightening, fascinating, dangerous, lovable, a twenty-three-year-old living on the edge of madness -- explores the most remote corners of his mind. In his room at the boarding house, Benjamin works on, "Benjamin's Mysteries," in which he pours out his deepest anxieties as well as medieval fantasies of great beauty. He becomes enmeshed in a novel called "Glicken On, Baby, It's Now" -- a futuristic fantasy about Lex Baker, a super-hero of the 22nd century assigned to save the world from Operation Suffocate, an evil plot to pump noxiousness into the controlled atmosphere of the "megopolis." The language of the future twists rhythms into new meanings. Lex Baker's sexual exploits, his gratuitous violence, his surreal preoccupations, all strike a great response in Benjamin. When he meets Reeva, the author of "Glicken," fiction moves into his life in astonishing ways. The tensions and reverberations of Lex and Benjamin and Reeva smash Benjamin into new dimensions. Reeling, Benjamin takes up the study of the brain, staying on course for the final shocking ending.

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