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The Way Innby Will Wiles
Synopses & Reviews
Up in the Air meets Inception in this smart, innovative, genre-synthesizing novel from the acclaimed author of Care of Wooden Floors—hailed as “Fawlty Towers crossed with Freud,” by the Daily Telegraph—that takes the polished surfaces of modern life, the branded coffee, and the free wifi, and twists them into a surrealistic nightmare of infinite proportions.
Neil Double is a “conference surrogate,” hired by his clients to attend industry conferences so that they dont have to. Its a life of budget travel, cheap suits, and out-of-town exhibition centers—a kind of paradise for Neil, who has reconstructed his incognito professional life into a toxic and selfish personal philosophy. But his latest job, at a conference of conference organizers, will radically transform him and everything he believes as it unexpectedly draws him into a bizarre and speculative mystery.
In a brand new Way Inn—a global chain of identikit mid-budget motels—in an airport hinterland, he meets a woman he has seen before in strange and unsettling circumstances. She hints at an astonishing truth about this mundane world filled with fake smiles and piped muzak. But before Neil can learn more, she vanishes. Intrigued, he tries to find her—a search that will lead him down the rabbit hole, into an eerily familiar place where he will discover a dark and disturbing secret about the Way Inn. Caught on a metaphysical Mobius strip, Neil discovers that there may be no way out.
"Prime among the reasons people pay the man who calls himself Neil Double to serve as their 'conference surrogate' — someone who attends trade fairs in their stead and relays the useful bits without the blather — ranks dodging tedium, a challenge also presented by the first half of this sardonic but wildly uneven sophomore effort from Wiles, author of Care of Wooden Floors. Things seem to start promisingly for narrator Neil as the young Londoner prepares his game plan for Meetex, ironically a conference for conference planners, at the monstrous new hinterlands MetaCentre and adjacent Way Inn. But then Neil is blindsided by the organizer's attempts to shut him down, And then by an even more ominous problem involving theWay Inn itself. At this point the novel morphs into a surreal Inception-like nightmare which has Neil and mysterious titian-haired temptress Dee fighting for their lives against the globe-spanning 'inner hotel' and its ghoulish agent Hilbert. Wiles makes many spot-on observations about the ways in which environment can shape perception, as well as the blanding influence of branding. But the bloated story and largely cartoonish characters never really come together. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the acclaimed author of Care of Wooden Floors comes a multidimensional novel that twists the polished surfaces of modern business into a surrealistic nightmare of infinite proportions.
Neil Double is a "conference surrogate," hired by his clients to attend industry conferences so that they don't have to. It's a life of budget travel, cheap suits, and exhibition centers—a kind of paradise for Neil. But his latest job, at a conference of conference organizers, will radically transform him and everything he believes as it draws him into a bizarre and speculative mystery. In a brand-new Way Inn—a global chain of mid-budget motels—in an airport hinterland, he wanders beyond a quotidian fire door and encounters a strange woman known to him only through his dreams. His world tessellates and the woman flees. His search for her will lead him to discover dark and disturbing secrets about the Way Inn, and reality itself. Trapped in a metaphysical Möbius strip, Neil must finally accept that there may be no way out of his mass-produced environment—and devise an impossible plan of escape.
About the Author
Will Wiles is the author of the novel Care of Wooden Floors and is an architecture and design journalist in Great Britain. His writing has appeared in Cabinet magazine, New Statesman, and other UK publications. He lives in London.
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