cover image Bathing the Lion

Bathing the Lion

Jonathan Carroll. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-04826-4

Carroll (The Ghost in Love) drenches prosaic modern life with horrifying surrealism in this hallucinatory contemporary myth, which mingles terror and awe with family strife. Unhappy couple Dean and Vanessa inexplicably share a dream with Kasper, Vanessa’s lover, and Jane, her employer. Brought together by grieving widower Bill and the mysterious child Josephine, Dean and company discover that they were once celestial mechanics, fixing the universe’s mistakes, before their minds were wiped. With chaos splintering reality, reversing time, and swallowing other Fixers, these emotionally scarred agents must return to the fight against ravenous entropy. Cosmic conspiracies, paranoia, and awe are grounded in the everyday, the impossible made probable by Carroll’s authoritative wordplay. Flawed characters struggle with identity and love, selfishness and fear, in a world where wonder can always be found in the mundane. This lyrical and thematically rich novel is not to be underestimated. (Oct.)