A lonely mope named Bob slides into a strange, precarious existence when he attempts to communicate with the dead via a homemade invention.
Krusoe's surrealistically skewed, oddly affecting novel blurs the borders between life and the afterlife, what's real and what's imagined, to highly entertaining effect. Bob, who studied Auralogy and Past Life Regressology at the Institute for Mind/Body Research before becoming an upholsterer in the town of St. Nils, knows something is up when a dog bearing Bob on its nameplate appears outside his house, is struck by a car and dies. After Bob buries Bob in the backyard, he encounters Yvonne, a fellow student from the institute with whom he had a thing before she abruptly left him for someone else. She shows up with her little girl Dee Dee, looking for information about the dog who bit her daughter. Bob doesn't tell her about his dead namesake, but devotes himself to her in the hopes of restoring their relationship. Nothing goes right: not with the policeman who befriends Bob and plans on moving to Nevada with Yvonne, not with a feuding next-door neighbor and not with poor Dee Dee, who joins Bob the dog on the other side and files reports from there. Using his Communicator, an unwieldy concoction of egg cartons, plastic inserts and a microphone, Bob searches for answers with mounting urgency. With authorial sleight of hand, Krusoe alters not only Bob's state of consciousness, but the reader's as well, leaving us reordering the pieces to this puzzle and rethinking our emotional responses to them. The final installment in a trilogy by the California writer, following Erased (2009) and Girl Factory (2008), this is a masterpiece of deadpan absurdism that recalls the domestic works of Thomas Berger.
A seriously strange, funny and affecting novel about imagining another life while being stuck in this one.