Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards
Kristopher Jansma
Publisher: Viking  (March 2013)
ISBN: 978-0-67-002600-5

Available at Amazon
also available in Kindle format

So many reviews start off by saying "Whats-his-name (the main character) is in the process of dealing with [insert situation here]..." but this is a book that will not let a reviewer do that.  Because, as far as we can tell (and the reader doesn't notice it right away), the main character is nameless.   Well, not nameless exactly -- we just never know his actual name.  He gets called lots of names (some he invents) from Walker Hartright at the debutante ball, to Pinkerton in his writing class, to Timothy Wallace, when he decides to take a teaching job in Dubai using someone else's name, to Outis when he's in Sri Lanka. 

His friends have consistent names (except for the various characters called "Simon"-- interchangeable props that wander in and out of the stories); his best friend (also biggest competitor) Julian, has a full name (except when he's not being called Anton or Jeffrey Oakes), as does Evelyn (who has her own name except when she's a character in a story), but the protagonist is always fibbing about who he is.  He does not, however,  ever fib about the important matter of his being a writer, and that his first and foremost duty is to the truth, by veracity, fantasy, or flat-out lying.