Bathing the Lion

Thomas Dunne: St. Martin's. Oct. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781250048264. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466848917. F
Dave doesn't know that his wife, Vanessa, is having an affair with his business partner Kaspar. Bar owner Jane employs Vanessa as a singer but secretly loathes her. Josephine is a strange girl who appears and leads Kasper to Jim Edmonds, a man grieving over the recent loss of his wife to cancer. Surprise! This initial section of the book is all a shared dream. The characters sharing it are retired Mechanics, intergalactic beings who have taken human form with no memory of their previous existence. Being human is a reward for their work keeping the universe running, and their divided dream is evidence of an impending disaster. The rest of the book offers numerous revelations about what is really happening, which involves various plot twists, charming discontinuities, and a softly spoken crescendo.
VERDICT Philip K. Dick meets Kurt Vonnegut with startlingly well-drawn characters, and the overall effect is one of the poignancy of day-to-day existence contrasting with the galactic scale of "life, the universe and everything." Readers with flexible expectations for fiction will find this a hoot. Recommended to those for whom the meaning of life can be "42." [See Prepub Alert, 4/27/14.]
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing