Monday, January 29, 2007


By Neil Gaiman.

A young man working in the securities industry in London trips over a bleeding woman while on his way to a restaurant with his fiancée and stops to help her, just like anyone would do. Right? Actually, his girlfriend Jessica stepped right over here and ended up dumping him over the incident, although that quickly became the least of his worries. (The young man actually does have a name, but it doesn't seem to be very memorable.) The next morning, the girl, named Door, sends him out to find someone she knows and soon afterward vanishes out of his life. A few hours later he vanishes, too: he finds his desk being taken away at work, no one seems to know him and most don't even see him, his ATM card stops working, and so on...

The above paragraph is pretty close to the teaser on the book jacket. Why? Because it's what hooked me on the book. Such an interesting beginning couldn't possibly end up all bad, right?

This book is pretty good. There is some kind of first-novel quality about it that reminds me, maybe, of War for the Oaks and other similar books (not to mention the actual subject matter of the book), but I enjoyed it for the most part. Objections? Well, I didn't really like how one issue was left somewhat unresolved: someone vanishes early on, but it isn't ever made clear whether she's actually dead or what happened to her. It seemed, possibly, like a cheap plot device to ditch the character like Mercutio before she ended up taking over the story. Also, the young man mentioned above must be uneducated, to say the least, to hire a tour guide named Lamia and not have the least idea what she might expect in payment.

Pretty good, although, since I've already brought it up, maybe not as polished as War for the Oaks. Maybe, though, I've just gotten more critical.

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