VOYAGE TO THE END OF THE ROOM by Tibor Fischer
Kirkus Star

VOYAGE TO THE END OF THE ROOM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An agoraphobe in London muses and reminisces. She has much to remember and ponder, most of it very funny indeed.

The latest excuse for a plot for Fischer (I Like Being Killed, 2000, etc.) to work his wit on is the morbid houseboundness of Oceane, a young dancer who found opportunity and support in Barcelona’s sex industry but who has since moved on to software, where she has made enough in licensing to live pleasantly in her own flat in a marginal but not life-threatening neighborhood. She doesn’t leave her building because she doesn’t have to and because it’s really repulsive in the streets these days. Oceane does do a bit of virtual traveling, and she makes trips to what she calls the “beach,” the common area downstairs where the mail sent to long-departed residents of the building sloshes around on the floor like so much flotsam. On one trip to the beach she meets Audley, a bill collector whose target left years ago. Oceane engages him to collect wages owed but unpaid by a business client, and then, when a letter from a ten-year-dead lover arrives, she sends Audley to Barcelona and farther to check that out. The dead letter trips memories of her days as a sex object that fill half the book, and effectively, since live sex is a funny subject and Fischer, when he’s on a roll, is about as funny as anyone writing today. Oceane’s colleagues are a mostly amiable lot. There are athletic lesbians from Dallas, a breathtakingly gorgeous and epically potent but totally self-involved bodybuilder (her partner in the show), and Heidi, who seems to be, well, a sexual black hole, a woman of spectacular gravity. Audley has his own story to tell involving the Bosnian war and, eventually, Oceane.

Nonsense, largely, crafted to frame Fischer’s dead-on social observations and murderous wit, and if you’re in the mood, it’s pretty wonderful.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-58243-297-X
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Counterpoint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2003




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