The Way Through Doors
The Way Through Doors (Vintage Contemporaries)
by Jesse Ball
$13.95 List Price
In 1928, dime novelist William Wallace Cook published Plotto, a practical guide to narrative construction. In it, he sets out a general schematic that his readers, or “plottoists,” would do well to keep in mind: An individual with certain attributes encounters some difficulty or complication, which is then addressed and/or resolved. Cook goes on to elaborate hundreds of possible complications, while cross-referencing individuals with certain attributes who might have encountered them and detailing ways the situation could turn out. Whether or not Jesse Ball is familiar with Cook’s endlessly permutable plot boiler, something of its spirit animates his second novel, The Way Through Doors.
After an amnesiac woman is literally flung into his arms, a young man named Selah Morse must (says a doctor) keep her awake for
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