In a contemporary town in the American midwest where he has no connections, Bax, an educated man recently released from prison, is staying in a motel. He writes letters to his brother and to others, including a friend still in jail, to whom he progressively reveals the intriguing pieces of a strange and fantastic narrative. When he meets a real estate agent who tells him he is, to his utter surprise, the heir to a huge old house in town, long empty, he moves in. He is immediately confronted by an array of supernatural creatures and events, by love and danger.
His life is utterly transformed and we read on, because we must know more. We revise our opinions of him, and of others, with each letter, piecing together more of the story as we go. We learn things about magic, and another world, and about the sorcerer Mr. Black, who originally inhabited the house. And then knowing what we now know only in the end, perhaps we read it again.
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World Fantasy Award winning novelist Wolfe (An Evil Guest) spins a complex, spellbinding web of otherworldly sorcery and hauntings. When scholar and ex-con Baxter Dunn arrives in the Midwest town of Medicine Man, he learns that a mysterious benefactor has deeded him a rambling old house. As the building grows around him, Bax encounters a number of wonders and terrors, including family secrets, windows into Faerie, and a murderous animal dubbed the Hound of Horror. However, the greatest challenge Bax faces may be his twin brother's jealousy and rage. Both terrifying and touching, this book of wonders speaks eloquently about the nature of responsibility and family, but Wolfe's unforgettable world is marred by stereotypes a flighty and submissive Japanese woman, a scandalmongering journalist, a rapacious and sadistic dwarf and a rushed, incoherent ending.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Loved this novel, one of Wolfe's best!
One of my favorite Wolfe novels of all time. He is a master at using an unreliable narrator to force you to puzzle the real story out between the lines. Most of the real narrative happens in your mind away from the pages. Highly recommend this one!