After many rejections, Tuten was about to self-publish this book (horrors) but was saved in the nick of time when his pal Roy Lichtenstein agreed to do the cover. Wow, huh?
The book is now widely considered one of the best postmodern novels. It fictionally follows Mao on the Long March, and ends with a longish interview with Mao on revolution and modern art.
I thought this was well done. As promised it was original (Iris Murdoch) and served up its humor deadpan (John Updike). Violently hilarious (Susan Sontag), however, it was not. I wouldn't say it wasn't genius (Oscar Hijuelos) because it was indeed creative, but I found it hard to stay interested. If it hadn't been so short (134 pp.), I would have abandoned it without regret.