El Camino Perdido by Alex Adriani

El Camino Perdido

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A fictional character threatens his author in Adriani’s debut would-be psychological thriller.

Brothers John and Jonathan, living in London and Caracas respectively, are pursued—and in turn pursue—an apparently malevolent “Being” named Klint. An escapee from one of Jonathan’s novels, Klint possesses the ability to move through the real world by using the London and Caracas metros. The narrative hook is that the characters—both “real” and “fictional”—can get on at Piccadilly Circus and get off at Cachaito, finally ending up in the apparently subconscious world of the “Undermind.” Also, the story floats the possibility that John himself is a figment of Jonathan’s imagination; one short dialogue reads: “Perhaps this meeting exists only in my mind. —But how is that possible…I have a life. —A life that I have given you, but that now I cannot control.” However, no further mention of this state of affairs is made in the remaining 122 pages of this slim volume. Further complicating the story, and the reader’s ability to make sense of events, is that neither Klint’s motives nor goals are ever explained. Similarly baffling is the fact that the brothers’ partners (one a wife, the other a girlfriend) are both named Jenny. Abrupt narration changes between third and first person differentiate the brothers’ stories, and the intended effect appears to be to mimic for the reader the disorientation that the protagonists are going through. In the end, however, after a good deal of traveling through the underbelly of Jonathan’s tales (which contain clues to a possible escape) and a few out-of-service arcade game machines, Jonathan and Jenny come out all right, thanks in part to the aegis of a hitherto unknown deus ex machina.

A good read for those wanting to lose themselves in a maze from which escape is accidental, if not absolutely miraculous.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1598351057
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: CBH Books
Program: Kirkus Indie
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