By Chuck Wendig
** Publication Date 20 July 2021 **
I don’t even know how to wrap my head around this one. Chuck Wendig has written a wild, crazy, suspense filled novel. Alternate realities and carved wooden owls that fly. This book is nuts, and I mean that in only the best way possible.
Nate has been waiting for his father to die. Not because he will grieve for him, but for Nate, it will be a relief that the old man is finally gone. Maddie, Nate’s wife, is an artist who creates sculptures of junk. Maddie is looking for a space to create that is her very own. Their son, Oliver, is a unique child. An empath that goes beyond normal empathy to actually feel people’s pain. He struggles in his school because there is so much pain.
Carl, Nate’s father, was a prison guard. He was also a drunk who abused his wife and child. When a serial killer is set to finally be put to death in the prison, Carl is there to assist with the execution, by electric chair. Something goes horribly wrong during the execution, though, and this Carl will carry to his grave.
When Carl is finally upon the brink of passing, his father’s attorney contacts him with a proposition. Carl will allow Nate to see him after death, but only if Nate buys his childhood home. The asking price, one dollar. Carl doesn’t care what Nate does with the home once he’s gone, but that’s the deal. Nate agrees to the deal.
It’s when Nate goes to his childhood home to view his deceased father that things really take a wild turn.
As I said, this is one insane ride. While at times it is slow, when the pace picks up, it is a roller coaster. Wendig is a master of making even the most out-there concepts seem normal. What Nate, Maddie and Oliver (and assorted others) experience in this story is unbelievable, but somehow you end up believing. And you won’t want to put it down.
This novel is totally deserving of five stars.