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341 pages, Paperback
First published October 6, 2020
For some reason, that struck me as hilarious. I started laughing and nearly fell over. The giant otter gazed past me as I howled. "Oh god! Oh god, I'm trying to pick a fight with another universe!"🙄
"Could happen." Simon grinned. "I mean, it'd be better if you just shouted Yo Mama jokes at it, but, hey ..."
"First we're going to fix the drywall patch. Then we're going to tie you to the bed."
"Yes, but you're not my type, hon."
“If there's a way into hell, someone will always find it.”I think classifying this book as horror does it a disservice by setting expectations for something different. It’s not horror at all, but rather a darkly humorous portal fantasy, of a bit of a twisted kind. There is a bit of subtle eerie creepiness here, just enough to unsettle — but do not expect to be frightened (apparently a few readers had issues with that - but it works for me, a proudly unapologetic wuss). And there is plenty of lightheartedness, witty banter, awkward humor and one very annoyed cat. And, of course, Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities, and Taxidermy.
“I turned the concrete over in my hands and quietly relinquished the notion that I was dealing with reality as I understood it.”
“The willow world had been full of apparently unoccupied spaces that were nevertheless full of… something. The bus driver. The children. The thing that had walked past us.”
“I also still had the awful nagging feeling that the skin of this world was terribly thin, and if I tried to dig down, I’d punch a hole in it and end up on the other side, looking up at the willows from behind.”
“Simon had to be nearly forty, if not older, but he looked about eighteen. Somewhere, a portrait was probably aging for him.”
“Dammit, I can’t believe I spent so much of my life on a man who would unironically post the line “Today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.” And in Papyrus, too.”
“He said, “Come on, let’s go back to the coffee shop and I’ll make us Irish coffees and we’ll discuss this like people who don’t die in the first five minutes of a horror movie.”
“It was creepy, but when you have spent the night in a nightmare world filled with willows, merely creepy things no longer make much of a dent on you.”
A man who had devoured his twin in the womb and was now carrying her eye around in his head was pitying me. That seemed as if it should be a good metaphor for my life, although I'd be damned if I could make sense of it.