A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists – Jane Rawson
Transit Lounge Publishing, 2013
The world is falling apart at the seams. Ever since her apartment blew up in a freak accident, taking her husband, pet cat and illusions of normalcy with it, Caddy has lived day-to-day in a broken-down city where shanty towns line the flood-prone river and trains are turning into an urban myth. It’s hardly even a surprise when her friend Ray walks through the cracks of a map into a place where dead people’s shadows are stored and a catalogue of daydreams have been abandoned. Reality, it turns out, is a blurry concept – particularly when the people you’ve imagined appear to be more real than you.
This is a very strange book, deliberately so. It is a surrealistic dark fantasy, most of which takes place in an ambiguous dystopian Melbourne, and it is incredibly – if quite good-naturedly – bleak. The four main characters are not unpleasant but are all a little off-kilter, not really fitting in their worlds. Of them all, I found Ray the most interesting.