PLATO'S CAVE by Russell Proctor

PLATO'S CAVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A spirited, high-speed chase for answers when the ground rules of physicality morph overnight.

Emily Bramwell is an ordinary college student in Australia nursing heartbreak and a hangover when a sausage appears out of nowhere in her bathroom sink. Then she starts reading weirdly accurate horoscopes. After that, her experience of reality is never quite the same. And that’s just the beginning of the disorienting changes that lead her out the door in search of explanations. While Emily finds herself at the vortex of what increasingly looks like an interdimensional rift, there’s evidence brewing of an unfolding drama that’s bigger and more confusing than her personal woes. Metaphysicians, scientists, a room with peculiar properties and a house plant named Mike figure into her quest, which alters her perceptions forever. Proctor’s (Days of Iron, 2011) heroine and fantastical plot are engaging and oddly believable, given how far the story departs from what we think we know of reality. Emily, the narrator, is winningly determined, annoyed, unflappable and self-aware, a likable exemplar of a modern, independent young woman. Her conversational voice takes the reader by the arm and pulls him along for a well-constructed ride that hints at the author’s past as an actor. Amid the abundant fun, Proctor explores a variety of stances on the meaning of life, including Emily’s initial lack of interest in big-picture questions. When an astrologer and a scientist grapple with the same observed phenomena, their esoteric explanations (which reflect solid background knowledge) enjoy equal weight. In Emily’s view, they might be saying the same thing.

An intelligent, whimsical, nondogmatic roller coaster of a novel, which leaves it up to the reader to connect the dots.

Pub Date: Dec. 28th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1479308798
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013