The Paradise Engine
A NovelBook - 2013
While working to restore an historic theatre in a seedy part of the city, a graduate student named Anthea searches to find her best friend, lost to the rhetoric of an itinerant street mystic. Almost a century earlier, Liam, a tenth-rate tenor, visits the same theatre while eking out a career on the dying Vaudeville circuits of the day. In both eras, an apocalyptic strain of mysticism threatens their existence: Anthea contends with a nascent New Age movement in the heart of the city while Liam encounters a radical theosophical commune along the coast of British Columbia, who appear to be building ... something.
The Paradise Engine unfolds across a colourful backdrop of labour organizers, immaculately-attired cultists, ambitious socialites, basement offices and coffee shops. Its cast of characters and historical setting recalls Robertson Davies' Fifth Business or Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day , while its approach to memory and community is reminiscent of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.
- Nunatak first fiction series - no. 34