Sunday, July 25, 2010

Outrageous Fortune, by Tim Scott

Unquestionably the best book I have read so far this year that starts with an expletive.

Which puts it in a class of one. No matter.

This is a bit of a mind-bender that puts it almost in a class with Philip K. Dick's work. As a reader, I was never quite sure what was going on, or why or just how "real" everything I read really was. It's about a dream architect who one day discovers his house has been stolen, and that the thieves have left behind a business card with an invitation to call them. After that, things get weird as he's chased through city boroughs organized by musical genres by a limpet encyclopedia saleswoman (who latches on to her mark and won't let go), and four motorbike riders named after the Apocalyptic horsemen. In the process, he discovers a plot to assassinate god using a virus that could give everyone the same dream, that will keep them from believing.

The thing that didn't work for me here is that 9/10ths of the book concerns these events, but the resolution (I'll try not to spoil anything here, but forgive me if I mess up) concerns something only slightly related, and put me in mind of Dallas for reasons I won't go into. Once I finished the book, although I could see the rationale behind the ending and all that led up to it, I felt a little bit cheated. It was not as though aliens arrived in the final few chapters, but as though they had been there all along and I hadn't noticed. It reminded me also of I Am the Messenger, in that the events of the book happened for a reason which made sense but was not satisfying.

Ulysses Rating: 2 - I had a tough go.

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