Captivating and evocative - a very enjoyable and satisfying story.
The main character, from whose perspective the story is wholly told, is enigmatic - somehow ethereal - somewhat paradoxical, when you reach the end and understand how things truly stand between him and his daily talking companion. However, the main character is precisely drawn and coloured, yet he remains a puzzle - both the strength and weakness of the story - if you can call it a weakness.
His liaisons are beautifully crafted but for my money needed a little heat - there is sensuality in spades but it lacks a little something - a one-hander this most definitely is not (thankfully) - it is an erotic romance - still I would have preferred something more intimate, especially between Luc and our protagonist - seeing as it was going to be his first time. That said, the intimate scenes are well-balanced, coloured from a very masculine palette - the build up to the scene with the barber is especially well-crafted.
I enjoyed the little bit of suspense and mystery surrounding Mr Finland - diversionary it may have been, but essential.
The ending is 'clever' - that probably sounds like a back-handed compliment - it isn't meant to. However, as a metaphor, something got lost in translation (no pun intended) - but it didn't detract from the story.
The reason this did not get five stars - I did not wholly engage with the main character despite the fact that he narrated the story.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, captivating and evocative - I have already started another story by the same author - The Man With The Mandolin.
21st April 2015