Acting on recommendations to read this book (from various people who's opinions I respect) I tracked down this book that, so far as I am aware, have never been published in the UK. I think it was worth it.
Inside the cover there is a quotation from the author which says "I've always wanted to write something that would affect my readers like a spell, or a poison, or a drug, or hypnosis." That describes pretty well what the author was attempting to do with this book and I think he was broadly sucessful. As such I feel the reader needs to read this in as few sittings as possible, away from all distractions to alllow oneself to slip into the mode
or "hypnotic" state from which this book can be best enjoyed. Unfortunately, that's not usually the way I get to read. I grab small snatches here and there, little and often, usually surrounded by distractions (like on a train or with children shouting in the background) but those times I managed it, my enjoyment increased and my appreciation of what the author was trying to do deepened.
If I had to classify this, I would describe it as surrealist fantasy horror. Many things about this book are unusual. The protagonist for a start. What exactly is a divinity student? And how much of his strange abilities did he aquire from his strange death and resurrection described in the opening chapter or merely from his time at the seminary? Very little about his curious antagonists, hiding behind the tinted windows of cars, is ever explained, nor why they are trying to stand the way of his quest to find out the secret words that, when grasped, will allow him to understand the meaning of the universe.
It's definitely one of those books that will benefit from a re-read or two in order that it's more finer subtleties might be appreciated. And I am also left with a desire to read something else by this author. Recomendations will be welcome.