In isolated British Columbia, girls, mostly native, are vanishing from the sides of a notorious highway. Leo Kreutzer and his four friends are barely touched by these disappearances—until a series of mysterious and troublesome outsiders come to town. Then it seems as if the devil himself has appeared among them.
In this intoxicatingly lush debut novel, Adrianne Harun weaves together folklore, mythology, and elements of magical realism to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of life in a dead-end town. A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain is atmospheric and evocative of place and a group of people, much in the way that Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones conjures the South, or Charles Bock’s Beautiful Children provides a glimpse of the Las Vegas underworld: kids left to fend for themselves in a broken world—rendered with grit and poetry in equal measure.
A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain blends folklore with the supernatural, told primarily through Leo Kreutzer. Beyond the arrival of an otherwordly girl into their town, Leo becomes concerned that the stories his Uncle Lud told him were coming true. Hasn’t everyone been a bit spooked by an old tale about their town at some point?
As with books dealing with the supernatural, some characters have their own oddities, but across the board they feel realistic. Furthered by the awkward dialogue between certain people does feel a bit jarring as you read, in the same way it’s odd to witness a conversation like it. But it still feels real, and it means the relationships and chemistry (or lack there of) feels legit.
It boils down mountain life to its most detailed moments, and though it feels a bit of a slog to read, from time to time, you find yourself feeling far more informed and the story more built up when you do find yourself into it.
Pub: 25th Feb 2014 | Penguin Group