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L (and things come apart)

Henry, the quiet and unassuming protagonist of author Ian Orti’s L (and things come apart), rents the flat above his cafe to an enchanting and mysterious woman by the name of L.

L (and things come apart)
Ian Orti
Invisible
Publishing
138 pp
$16.95

Henry, the quiet and unassuming protagonist of author Ian Orti’s L (and things come apart), rents the flat above his cafe to an enchanting and mysterious woman by the name of L.

Henry’s wife is cavalier about her extramarital indiscretions and is excited by the thought that her husband might catch her in the heat of lovemaking, even though he’s long ago stopped caring about his marriage or of achieving intimacy with her. If things don’t get more interesting, thinks Henry, they might just keep on going.

The customers in Henry’s cafe are variously cantankerous, fearful for their sanity and frustrated by a recent transit strike and herds of wild mammoths that dot the snowy city landscape in pairs of two. If the sudden appearances of mammoths aren’t enough to jar Henry out of his malaise, building fixtures spontaneously decide for themselves that they are in need of a change of scenery.

That this all began with the arrival of L might just be a coincidence, but while spending time with her, Henry begins to fear the thought of being without her.

Orti, who won the 2009 Expozine Alternative Press Award for his debut book, The Olive and the Dawn, infuses the mundane with imagination. Subtly unsettling, L (and things come apart) is a charming and intriguing read.

This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 03, published August 31, 2010.

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