Before I wrote down my thoughts on this book, I had a quick look through some of the other reviews just to see what other people felt about it. It seems that this book is quite controversial, particularly for the twist at the end which turns everything on its head. Many of the reviewers didn't think it made sense, that it was out of context with the rest of the story. I have to say that I couldn't disagree more! It makes perfect sense and I liked the ambiguity of possible interpretations that it left.
This is quite an interesting entry in the Fantasy Masterworks series because there is no sense of anything fantastic until well over half way through the novel. It walks a dangerous line between being genre and non genre. Dangerous because the lack of fantastic elements throughout most of the novel risks putting off genre fans but on the other hand the weird and shocking ending could put off non-genre readers (who might well have enjoyed it up to then). But I loved it. While I'm definitely a genre fan, I like books that touch the edges and avoid the more well used tropes.
To start with it seems to be about coming to terms with his brother's death and the relationships that he develops. What happens at the end puts all that into a somewhat different light. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Jonathan Carroll has a breezy prose style and seems to offer an astute insight into relationships and characters. I'm definitely left with the desire to read something else by him.