Sunday, 29 September 2013
Two Contemporay Novels
In ...Game, an old, rich guy, Sunderland Haverner, has had a life long deal either with a literal demon or with a demon-like being that goes by the name of Samael. (In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Lucifer's name before he fell.)
Haverner, inspired by his demon, induces seven disparate characters, all badly needing money, to play Follow the Leader, the winner or winners to receive one million dollars, tax free thanks to an ingenious legal loophole. The reader has to keep track of eight major human characters plus the supporting cast of Haverner's servants.
As far as I remember, from having read the novel only once when bought, the seven interact without any demonic influence so that the central narrative is not fantasy. Perhaps the Haverner-Samael dialogues are the framing device? The game is designed to draw out the worst from its contestants so that some unpleasant passages are to be expected. The chapters are unnumbered but not innominate:
INTERVAL SIX PART ONE
INTERVAL SEVEN PART ONE
INTERVAL SEVEN PART TWO
This structure is unusually elaborate, with a three-part Interval Six and the two parts of Interval Seven separated by the sixth of the seven contestants. As expected, Samael and Haverner bracket the contestants.