Friday, 13 May 2016
Recommendation: The Wanderer by Timothy J. Jarvis
See, I told you a précis was pointless. Suffice to say, The Wanderer is a labyrinth of fact and fiction, of stories within stories, of textual ambiguity. (And anyone who read the first parts of The Quarantined City will know how much I like stories within stories.) It somehow manages to combine elements of the Gothics and pulps, old-school science fiction, with a thoroughly modern understanding of horror and the weird. It contains shout outs to many classics of the genre, in particular Poe, Lovecraft and Jules Verne... and indeed, in one bravura passage it manages to encompass almost the entire history of weird fiction into its own fictitious universe. It's gory in places, it's philosophical, it's darkly comic, it's deeply serious yet in parts has the tone of a shaggy dog story told in a disreputable public house.
In short, it's one of the best novels I've read for a long time: original, disturbing and witty. I'm certain it will repay rereading as well, as the significance of certain earlier sections only becomes clear later on. I thought it outstanding.
The Wanderer, Timothy J. Jarvis (UK | US)