Home : Archive : TSV 31-40 : TSV 37 : Review


By Steve Lyons

Book review by Felicity Scoones

Unique among the New Adventures Conundrum is a book within a book. The narrator is present in the story as himself and this leads to a self-conscious style which constantly makes the reader aware that he or she is reading a book. Oddly, although the reader is therefore distanced from the action the book is still quite compelling.

It is definitely a novel held together by its plot not its characterisations. The plot gathers momentum as the story progresses, while the characters, although diverse, are intentionally portrayed in a superficial manner. This is consistent with the narrator's attitude to the book he is writing.

It is a strange book, and one which would not have worked if it had appeared much earlier among the New Adventures. Coming where it does it successfully plays on the expectations previous books have inculcated in the reader. However book-length is a bit much to sustain the idea and I think it would have been better suited to a short story.

Conundrum is quite self-referential towards the show and the New Adventures and it enjoys parodying other genres.

I found this book reasonably entertaining but felt that its unusual concept was the only thing which made it stand out from the rest of the New Adventures. I recommend it to the curious.

This item appeared in TSV 37 (January 1994).

Index nodes: Conundrum