Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Field Guide To Reality - Joanna Kavenna


Eliade Jencks knows the only reason people call at midnight is to tell you someone has died. Professor Solete was one of her few friends. Perhaps her only friend. But his friends don't think much of her - a vague, scruffy waitress, impatient with philosophical onanism at parties. Naturally, they're horrified to find out that Solete has left her his Field Guide to Reality.
The Guide has taken on legendary proportions among the celebrated minds of Oxford. The work of a lifetime, it purportedly advances Solete's great philosophical Theory of Everything and even defines the very nature of reality. A big, important book. Only, they can't find it.
So, baffled, grieving, and slightly annoyed, Eliade sets out on a quest for the missing manuscript, and falls down a rabbit-hole of metaphysical possibility. From a psychotropic tea party to the Priests of the Quantum Realm, she trips her way through Solete's wonderland reality and, without quite meaning to, bursts open the boundaries of her own.
In this clever, darkly ironic and moving novel, Granta Best of Young British author Joanna Kavenna displays fearless originality and dread wit in confronting the strangeness of reality and how we contend with the disappearance of those we love.
Beautiful original drawings by Oly Ralfe illustrate this haunting tale of bringing light to an empty roo

This book felt like Alice in wonderland to me - I had no idea what was going on and so I just went with it as I was intrigued by the cryptic Solete and his message from beyond the grave.

I think I sort of understood what was happening at the end but really apart from being a beautifully bound book I was not really enjoying reading this book. The illustrations were dark and dystopian and took up about half of the novel.

Perhaps I am not learned enough to read this and understand beyond the basic mystery level.

I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars.
I was sent the book by Real Readers for review.

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