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Handsome TV journalist Patrick Wallingford, who is obsessed with minutely described one-night stands, has his left hand eaten by a lion at the Gnesh Circus while covering it in India as the world watches on their screens.

This particular novel is definitely not one of Mr. Irving’s strongest works. I don’t want any attempting reader to be discouraged about what I’ve said but as a die-hard Irving fan, I have my reasons to say so. The story starts with an interesting premise and then you start to notice its uninteresting main character. I just don’t know if Mr. Irving intentionally does this to make the protagonist memorable or original. It’s as if he pours out all of his adjectives to describe the characters of his other novels and just runs out on this one. His engaging style of a ‘story behind a story’ is still present for I get to sympathizes on some of the characters especially Dr. Zajac. With this, I guess the author purposely leaves Patrick’s character as just that to make him different, but it doesn’t work here in my opinion. I also find the novel exceptional with the mention of the Philippines. Yeah.

Mr. Irving is one of the authors I really admire and look up to. One of the authors I’m willing to read all of his works and whatever he comes up to. But I can’t just recommend this one to readers who want to have a good look at Mr. Irving’s works. They should just try to read his other novels before reading this particular title. I’m sure that once you get used to his works, you’ll consider this one as an entertaining read though not really his best. Well anyway, Irving’s worse is still superior to others best. Recommended…for a true Irving fan.

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