From my blog
Well, where to begin with this one? It is bonkers, but also brilliant. The first chapter describes a sombrero falling from the sky and landing in front of three men. There is no reason for the sombrero to fall from the sky. No building nearby, no plane overhead. The three men stare at it, each attaching their own obscure importance to the event.
In chapter 2 we discover that the sombrero story is just that, it has been penned by a novelist trying to work through the grief of having been dumped by his Japanese girlfriend. From this point forward we follow the author as he obsesses through the night thinking about his ex-girlfriend, the prose interspersed with her dreams, as well as following the sombrero story as it develops its own storyline in the wastepaper basket, where the author discarded it.
So far, so trippy. The thing is that these two stories are utterly compelling. The poor author’s thinking becomes more and more unhinged as he focuses on what the love of his life is doing, to the point where he is scrabbling around on the floor looking for a strand of her hair. By contrast the Japanese lady is happily asleep. In the parallel story, the events which follow the sombrero falling from the sky escalate as the thinking of the three men who have witnessed the sombrero’s appearance become more and more bizarre, resulting in the whole town becoming involved.
I know this all sounds a bit odd, and in some ways it is, but both threads of this book highlight how warped and exaggerated thinking can have some very strange, and dangerous outcomes.