Monday, August 1, 2011

The Way Through Doors

This was an interesting piece of meta-fiction. The main character, Selah Morse, is a struggling pamphleteer who is hired by his uncle to work in some sort of odd secret governmental organization. One day he is out in the street walking and a beautiful woman races out of a building into a street where she is struck by a taxicab. Morse accompanies her to the hospital where he claims to be the woman's boyfriend. The woman has amnesia and cannot remember anything of her life. Morse takes her back to his place and begins to try and recreate her memories by telling her a story.

As his story progresses, characters within his story begin telling stories of their own and then characters in those stories tell their own stories. Some of those stories reference people from the previous stories but not always in ways that were expected. One story, for example, is an almost identical recreation of the first pages of the novel but with some minor twists. Along the way there are a number of interesting characters, the most prevalent being a Coney Island boardwalk mindreader who is wrong more often than he is right.

All in all, I liked it. There didn't seem to be much of a point to it all outside of the oddball style but it was fun. The author barely constrains himself when it comes to realism but although it is imaginative, it is not outlandishly so. I could see a re-read being beneficial to try and catch more details and such and the book is short enough to do so. Worth checking out if you want something different.

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