Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Rec. #128: Day for Night
What: Frederick Reiken's intricate web of a novel, Day for Night, is every bit as beautiful as that cover. We start with a woman, her boyfriend, and his son swimming with manatees. We end with some semi-coherent journal entries from a Nazi in exile. Some of the stops along the way are: a psychologist who archives her friend's dreams, researchers at an animal preserve in Israel, a gifted high schooler who's not sure how to rebel, a coma patient who gets kidnapped, an elderly man finding love and losing it, and two FBI agents on the trail of an enigmatic woman. Amazingly, the connections among them are not contrived or cutesy. On the contrary; they make the world of the novel seem bright and big and scary and lovely.
Comparable to: Reiken makes connections here just as David Mitchell does in Cloud Atlas --- across continents and times, but very naturally. There's also a slight whiff of early Tom Robbins around the edges.
Representative quote: "You may get scared sometimes because you fail to understand that what is scared is not you. It's the story. The story looks for a way to travel. The story is afraid you will let it go."
You might not like it if: You are hoping for a neat and tidy resolution. Connections are made on top of connections, layers are added to layers, and although we see where many of the threads of the story lead, not everything is tied in a bow at the end.
How to get it: It's new enough that you should be able to find it in most bookstores. It's also Kindle-able.