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Publisher Description

When a dinner-party guest named Miles locks himself in an upstairs room and refuses to come out, he sets off a media frenzy. He also sets in motion a mesmerizing puzzle of a novel, one that harnesses acrobatic verbal playfulness to a truly affecting story.
Miles communicates only by cryptic notes slipped under the door. We see him through the eyes of four people who barely know him, ranging from a precocious child to a confused elderly woman. But while the characters’ wit and wordplay soar, their story remains profoundly grounded. As it probes our paradoxical need for both separation and true connection, There but for the balances cleverness with compassion, the surreal with the deeply, movingly real, in a way that only Ali Smith can.

Fiction & Literature
September 13
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

JayLando ,

"Inside The Jen - Eric (!) House"

"Inside The Jen - Eric (!) House"

I quite enjoyed this book. Roped in by the silly premise it is splendid enough to make me want to read anything else the author has written.

To explain much about the story is to spoil it but basically it is about a man who locks himself inside a room of a stranger's home ; told through four characters that do not know him very well.

The way the prose dances around and changes and how you really get inside the heads of the different people is so cleverly done. Always on the verse of cloying but only just.

Based on the premise you would not expect how funny, profound, critical and *human* the story is. It comes highly recommended.

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