I have no idea what I just read—but I love it—but I love it.
[with apologies to The Weeknd]
Within Without is unlike any other book I have ever read. It’s like Dark City, Tenet, and Alice in Wonderland had a baby. Then dropped that baby in a 6D black rabbit hole.
A noir detective named John Nyquist is searching for a client’s lost image. Like a living NFT stolen from blockchain. Sounds simple, right? It’s not. The first city John visits is Delirium. The city has border crossings everywhere. Was this Europe before the Union? Then, he finds an even stranger city called Escher.
Throughout the book are literary Easter eggs. This is a book that can be read again and again. Each time new insights will be found.
I love genre mashups. The erudite author of Within Without, Jeff Noon, is a master of it. This is a noir, science fiction and fantasy mashup. But its intelligence and wild, almost bizarro, feel, puts it into another category. If you liked Trainspotting, you will love the drugged feeling of the world built here. Okay, I give up. I just can’t explain this book in words.
My best advice is not read this book if you are looking for traditional noir. But do read it if you are looking for a book that will take you on a wild ride that follows few writing rules. But it still succeeds in pure entertainment. 5 stars and a favorite!
Thanks to Angry Robot and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.