The King of Infinite Space

Putnam. Aug. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780525535898. $27. F
Readers might want to dust off their Cliffs-Notes versions of Hamlet (or a copy of the play itself!) before delving into this wildly imaginative new novel from Edgar Award nominee Faye (Gods of Gotham). The action opens not at London’s Globe but in the charred remains of contemporary Manhattan’s World’s Stage Theatre, where Benjamin Dane, the owners’ son, revisits the past in his nightly dreams. Tonight, his former lover Lia appears and warns Ben of his father’s death. Jackson Dane, king of the New York theater scene, longtime husband to Trudy and brother to Claude, will soon be found dead in his bed. Toxicology indicates an overdose. Accident? Suicide? Then Trudy secretly marries Uncle Claude, and Ben starts to suspect murder. While the happy couple plan a grand reopening ceremony for the theater, Ben wallows in grief, plots revenge, and calls on his dearest friend for support. Enter Horatio Patel, patience and devotion personified, whose love for Ben will be sorely tested. Faye perfectly juxtaposes corrosive ambition, jealousy, and madness against the ineffable strength of love over distance, time, and space.
VERDICT Faye first won fans with an eclectic array of historical novels revisiting Jane Eyre and Sherlock Holmes. Her exciting new work should be especially appealing to readers who were intrigued by the reimaginings of Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, or Jeanette Winterson for the Hogarth Press Shakespeare project.
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