The comparison that kept coming to mind was the movie “Unbreakable” mixed with the books “The Raw Shark Texts” and “Ingenious Pain” (the latter of which probably most people haven’t heard of, but don’t worry about it). The way the plot unfolds is a bit confusing, but in a good, “I’m not sure what’s going on here yet, but I like it,” kind of way. It’s supposed to be disorienting. Every once in a while, you hit a point of “Ah-ha!” where something clicks and shoves you in the right direction. This book is a mystery, full of philosophy and supernatural quirks. Quite frankly, this book might not be for you if you like everything explained and wrapped up neatly. There’s no guiding narrator to help you along – you get dumped right into the seeming chaos, and it’s up to you to connect the dots.
The writing itself is often beautiful. English Lit nerd that I am, I kept smiling as sentence after sentence displayed a brilliant use of language. While the philosophy is thick and heady, it’s often very simply explained through character discussion and/or the use of parable-like snippets. The imagery of water and of falling/flying is used again and again like unifying, subtle threads.
And the three parts of the story – with Reuben, Lindon, and Ogden – ARE connected and congeal. The story isn’t at all linear, which might confuse some people, but it’s absolutely a wonderful way to tell this time-relevant story. Reuben, as the eye of the storm, opens the story and gives us a glimpse into the mayhem. Lindon’s section by far has the most action and works wonderfully to pump some action into the middle of the book while further unfurling the bigger picture. Ogden’s final part is then contemplative and ties everything together so that you finally understand how the pieces fit together.
I really liked that the philosophical questions raised here were not answered in any way that was hammered down in stone. Right or wrong, falling or flying, pessimist or optimist, imagination, faith, death, pain, etc. etc. – there’s a lot to think about. You’re left wondering; you’re left thinking.
Then there’s the epilogue, which is a terrific closing curveball.
See it on Amazon!