cover image The Three Fates of Henrik Nordmark

The Three Fates of Henrik Nordmark

Christopher Meades, ECW (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-1-55022-972-1

Though rough around the edges, Meades's debut novel is still witty and entertaining. Henrik Nordmark is an ordinary man who strives to be unique in a world where no one seems to notice him. He tries marijuana, speed dating, and even kindness directed at the elderly, all to no avail. Meanwhile, he accidentally interferes with the fates of two lottery players, causing one to end up with the other's winning ticket, inadvertently ruining both of their lives. Added to the mix are a murderous fiancé and three elderly assassins who mistake Henrik for their target. Coincidences abound, and all of the characters find themselves involved in each other's lives. It seems that everyone is out to get poor Henrik, who is too wrapped up in his quest for an extraordinary life to notice. Though Meades often tries too hard, the book is full of laugh-out-loud moments. Henrik is ridiculous in his simplicity (suggesting that "their two person department have a Secret Santa program"), and his multiple phobias keep his adventure interesting. A disappointing ending and dated pop-culture references hobble an otherwise amusing book. (Sept.)