"Machine" is a unique piece of fiction that encapsulates the very essence of earthly existence: how chance and random events influence seemingly unconnected lives and matter. Two stories of metamorphosis entwine: the first chronicles the life of a drop of oil from its very beginning within a small prehistoric horse's heart to its combustion within a Ford car engine in Texas, the second follows the lives of the passengers within the vehicle. Clarissa picks up a hitchhiker on the Interstate to San Antonio. She is a young, intelligent student willing to experiment with LSD. The hitchhiker is Jimmy Nash, who has been granted asylum in the United States from the Soviet Union and has successfully reshaped his identity. He reads Emily Dickinson's poetry and until a horrific accident had worked on an oil field. Both their lives appear to alter in direct correlation with the changing molecular structure of this single drop of oil.From the very start, the reader is seduced by the author's unusual vision of the world we live in, from the drowning of Eohippus or 'the dawn horse' fifty-five million years ago to the inhalation of carcinogenic particles by a young woman in the 1970s.
The elegant prose is both lyrical and technically astounding and delivers a fascinating journey that will play on the mind and tempt an immediate second read.
Peter Adolphsen was born in 1972 in Arhus, Denmark and has written Sma historier (1996), Sma historier 2 (2000), Brummstein (2003). Machine was published in Denmark in 2006. He is currently working on two projects, En million historier and Katalognien. His books are translated into German, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish.