This was my first time reading Jonathan Carroll and though my reaction to this book was mixed I am intrigued. It was an engaging read which spend the first 2/3 of the story firmly rooted in reality and the final 1/3 a confusing supernatural muddle with a generous dash of creepy.
The first part of the story I flew through and really enjoyed despite not being crazy about the main character. This part of the book for me seemed to be a well written if at times a tad pretentious, argument for the idea of Carpe Diem. Despite very little suspense or out of the ordinary occurrences, it was a page-turner and engrossing. It sucked me in enough to drown out a whiny screaming two year old in the airport.
Unfortunately the book lost me a bit in the final third, which was odd as its fantastical leanings was what led me to pick up the book in the first place. He takes all the good and happy evoked in the first part of the book and stomps it mercilessly in the ground. It seemed to me to be making the opposing argument to the first part of the book – it seemed to posit that seizing the day, following your heart, doing what makes you happy will make you an emotion vampire. Or at least it makes a few select people, who are immortal through reincarnation, emotion vampires. Or something. I found it all a bit of a muddle and not nearly as engaging reading as the first part BUT it did make me want to discuss the book with someone. So maybe it was more engaging then I thought. And the end is intriguing. And the author definitely knows how to evoke a spooky atmosphere.
3 1/2 stars really. And I liked the stick idea - sort of corny but in a good way.