The New York Times reckons “On the surface, Mr. Bell has written a gripping, grisly tale of a husband’s descent into and ultimate emergence from some kind of personal hell.” I would disagree: it is neither gripping nor grisly. And what does he do beneath the surface? I would argue that he does little if anything. The whole enterprise, using the fabulous and the magical and the symbolic level, to explore some pretty well worn themes, and maybe defamialrise them in the process, seemed flawed from the outset: it just isn’t engaging, the reader will struggle to care for these non-people living in a non-place and hiding from non-dangers. Ill-conceived.