4 out of 4 stars
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Pulling the reader between two realities, If the Bed Falls In was a gripping novel. Paul Casselle writes the story of a man living unhappily in one world and thriving in the cloak and dagger adventures of an agent in another. The book was fast paced, riveting, and well written. I found myself trying to decipher what I saw as clues, and then I would be surprised at the next turn of events. Where I feared predictability, there was none to be had. I really enjoyed this read.
If the Bed Falls In begins from the perspective of Tom, a middle aged photographer who has grown weary and depressed with his life. Tom has a beautiful female friend, who is nothing more than that, and a simplistic and often recluse life. Then Tom wakes up, but he isn’t Tom anymore. Now he is Joseph, an agent for the British Secret Agency, MI6. As Tom/Joseph is pulled back and forth between the two worlds, the facts start bleeding over and changing aspects of what he thinks is real. Is he a delusional, overweight, tired man being plagued by the damage from his cocaine addled depression years? Or was he Joseph, a man dealing with the remnants of a CIA compound that had been injected in him while he fought between the good and bad in a war of double agents and conspiracy theories? The line gets thinner and thinner until even the reader is perplexed at whose story they are reading.
This book was a gripping read. There weren’t any noticeable grammatical or spelling errors. The flow was steady and the balance was pretty well kept. There was a lingering section about three quarters of the way through that I was beginning to wonder why we hadn’t revisited the other reality in a while, or if the plot had been dropped for some reason. Thankfully, my fears were quickly removed as the author once again flipped the story. I enjoyed not being able to really see ahead in the story and not being able to guess what was going to happen at every turn. This kept me interested and glued to the pages.
If there was anything that some people may not care for, it would probably be the ending. As crazy and twisty-turny that the story is, the ending seems to add to the symmetry. The protagonist gives his own evaluation in a self-reflection in the second to the last chapter. With these inner thoughts of Tom/Joseph, the ending is still not crystal clear in explanation. That being said, I was happy with the ending. I thought about Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk with the way the story wrapped up, and was satisfied with the finishing chapter.
If you are a reader of Chuck Palahniuk or have seen the television show (currently on Netflix) called "Awake," you would really enjoy this book. The sway of the story, from one reality to another, was engaging. I like the differences and similarities in the two worlds the protagonist has to sort through. The book could come off as confusing to some, and it is rather dark and violent. Anyone that likes a good spy story combined with some psychological disturbances, this would be a great read to get into. I give this book a 4 out of 4 rating.
If The Bed Falls In
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