Between the Voice and the Echo

A Novel

Publisher’s Weekly Review

Posted by William Bain on April 23, 2009

This multi-pronged novel weaves several stories together in a fashion that makes it difficult to determine what and whose reality is actually real, but nevertheless renders its illusory world intriguingly enough to entice the reader to try to keep up. Wabash, Ind., college student and library employee Chance Bresheare is intrigued when Gilley West presents him with her library card, which was issued in 1936. August LeVey is a private eye with no shadow and no reflection, which makes him appear two-dimensional. Dan Turner, a fictional Pulp detective, assumes an unwelcome reality in LeVey’s presence. Gilley lives alone in a remote farmhouse, alone except for the echoes, shadows and reflections which attend her. Here mirrors aren’t merely reflective surfaces, but (for some) are portals between two planes of reality. Likewise, the concept of shadows — the novel does begin, after all, on Groundhog’s day — is tweaked: shadows have lives of their own that impinge directly on the lives of the three (living) inhabitants of Gilley’s house. The author’s created a macabre and disturbing world where traditional concepts of reality, space and time don’t apply, bending abstract concepts in weird ways but with an impressive unity of vision. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but this novel has cult potential.

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