Friday, May 15, 2020

Questions of Perpective, by Daniel Maunz

Black Rose Writing, May 2020

Dave Randall is a fairly successful, ethical, but unenthusiastic lawyer when his one real friend in the New York firm, fellow lawyer John Manta, disappears.

Completely disappears. No notes, credit card usage, or messages to Dave or to his landlord. He left his phone, wallet, and keys behind. Also, a cat named Peaches. Dave takes custody of Peaches, tells the police what little he knows when everyone is finally convinced John didn't just take off for an unscheduled long weekend.

But John is gone, nothing is found, and Dave settles down to his work.

A year later, he's up for partnership, and finds himself unexpectedly resistant to it. He heads out for a walk, to think, and walks smack into John.

John has had, to put it mildly, a life-changing experience. He's become God.

John shares with Dave a small taste of what omniscience is, gives him some time to recover from that, and says he will talk with Dave again--sometime.

The taste of omniscience, and of that sense of oneness with everything, affects Dave's perspective rather strongly. He quits the law firm, takes Peaches, and starts wandering. Eventually he finds himself in the town of Woodstock, and rents a cottage. He and Peaches start hiking locally.

He's got enough from his years of racking up billable hours and not having a life outside the office that he's good, not forever, but for a few years.

He starts to discover himself, To work through his previous detachment from life, and to find what he really cares about.

He also learns that John--God--wants Dave to help him find a reason, a purpose, for John having become God.

It's a very odd book, but I found it very satisfying. A significant part of its message is that you never know what's going in someone else's life, but that's not the whole thing. The characters are compelling, and if you let yourself go with it, the journey is interesting and may be enlightening.

It won't be for everyone, but I really enjoyed this.


I received a free electronic galley from the publisher, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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