Most helpful critical review
on December 4, 2002
One of my wife's more literate friends (actually, the only one) gave me this book because she thought I could relate to the gimpy dog ("Old Vertue") who is somewhat central to this story. Well, I'm not sure if I agree with that, but the book was an interesting, if not terrific, read.
A policeman with the same name as my old nanny (Frannie!) experiences many unusual things in this story. In fact, this book is not grounded in the real world, so those of you who like novels based in reality will probably want to skip this one. It veers way south of Murakamiville as the out-of-this-world craziness is pretty much all encompassing. Some examples: A three-legged dog shows up, dies, is buried, and shows up alive again. More than once. Adult Frannie is visited by a teenaged version of himself (in both the present AND the future). Aliens abound (ridiculous!). Time travel mayhem is everywhere and history gets changed. If you can deal with all of this, you will probably enjoy this novel.
It's a fairly engaging mystery wrapped in a tale of love and the bizarreness of life. Narration is first person and at times both humorous and moving. I generally liked the story, but felt it a tad too creative, convenient, and otherworldly to really get into. Still...I did finish it and I told my wife's self-satisfied friend that I loooooved it.