This book was recommended to me about a year ago by a waitress at Puck Fair (sometimes I talk about books with strangers). I forgot about it until a few weeks ago, when I saw it on the remainder table at St. Mark's Books (which often has at least one good book for sale). There were blurbs from two of my favorite writers, T.C. Boyle and HS George Saunders, who I think was the author's teacher at Syracuse, so I bought it.
Plascencia relies on some of the riskier elements of modern fiction--writing about writing, magical realism, meta-narrative, and rejection of formal convention, including the use of text running both vertically and horizontally and various drawings and pictograms--but he largely has the stylistic chops to pull it off. What some may find self-indulgent gimmickry struck me as inventive storytelling. Plascencia's writing tends towards the sensual, which generally works in the context of the story. There are a lot of descriptions of women eating limes.
I'd recommend The People of Paper, particularly for readers who appreciate writers experimenting with form and structure enough to look past the occasionally overbearing earnestness of their enterprise.