The Escapement – Lavie Tidhar

He was not meant to be there, he was a reflection of the man in the hospital or the man in the hospital was a reflection of him.

This was the weirdest book I think have ever read, and I loved every minute of it. The weird and strangeness on top of the mystery of what exactly was going on kept me enraptured to the very end. Do I fully understand what was happening, no, do I have a vague idea of what was attempting to be told, yes.

The Escapement is a story about man, The Stranger, dealing with his grief, the story switches back and fourth between a fantastical world based around clowns, circuses and gunslingers, and the real world in a hospital. The switches between the worlds are random but as the story progress they start to happen more consistently, and many times the switch happens within the same paragraph or even sentence, other times it’s in it’s own moment. The drastic change in the setting of the world really played into the strangeness. Many times I sat around thinking, “are drugs involved? Is he dreaming? Its got to be drugs. What is even going on” Yet this is what kept me glued to the story, I wanted, no I needed to know what was going on with The Stranger.

Each chapter was a new piece of the story that just left me more bewildered than the last, they each feel like a mini side quest. Killer clowns, crazy shadow puppets, creepy mimes, Tarot card references, titans, and wars, melted clocks everywhere. This was just filled so many weird compelling themes, and I couldn’t stop reading. Many times I kept getting Gunslinger vibes (you know King’s Gunslinger) but with so much more weird. There are real references to real clowns, and circuses, and mythology. It’s a book that honestly makes you feel like you are on drugs.

I don’t want to go into detail to much about the overall story line because honestly to me, reading the story to see exactly what The Stranger is “Escaping” from is a huge part of the story and not knowing was the biggest compelling aspect for me. I wanted to know what was going on in the real world at the hospital but it’s given in so many small fractions that it enraptures you to keep going to find out, and if I tell you that here then you won’t have anything to look forward to aside from the weird and strange and while those elements are amazing the journey that The Stranger is on is captivating but only if you don’t know before hand.

During a majority of this book my emotional state was confused but also feeling like I was on drugs. But there was a moment that got me right in the feels and broke my heart, and while I was expecting those feels to hit at some point I can honestly say I wasn’t prepared for this particular moment.

If you like weird and strange, this is the perfect book for you, because you will walk away from this going “What the Hell did I just read.”


One thought on “The Escapement – Lavie Tidhar

  1. Pingback: The gut punch that is Lavie Tidhar's NEOM overflows with imagination - Tachyon Publications

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