Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: "The Way Inn" by Will Wiles

I’m just going to write off a book like The Way Inn as a misstep for British writer Will Wiles, because it is such a step down from his brilliant first novel, Care of Wooden Floors. I was excited for this novel, because the aforementioned first one was fantastic. It was a quietly brutal look into one’s man’s paranoia over the minutia of life leading to a total emotional collapse, while being very funny all the way there. I was looking forward to this book, and the premise had me intrigued, I have to admit. But after reading it, I can’t help but think that maybe this would work better, or work at all, if it was a short story. At 336 pages, it wears out its welcome within the first 100, never providing the reader with anything new, or anything interesting. The focus of the book is on Neil Double, a guy who is paid by people to attend conferences and let his clients know what they missed. He is a typical literary loafer, waiting for things to happen to him, and being too caught up in the lingo of his profession to make any kind of connection with the people he comes across while doing his job. His one point of interest is a girl he keeps seeing at the places he goes, mainly in the eponymous hotel chain he finds himself in most of the time. Following her through a corridor, he discovers the big secret of The Way Inn chain, which I won’t reveal. If I can take anything positive away from this book, its the little references to other things Wiles peppers throughout, like one of his bosses being named Convex, the same name of the villain in Videodrome (or maybe that’s just a coincidence). But most of the time, I found myself bored, when Neil himself couldn’t muster a smidge of excitement when the shit hits the fan. I was glad when this book was over, and hope Wiles has a brilliant career ahead of despite this book.

Rating: 2/5

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