The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida

The Diver's Clothes Lie EmptyThe Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviews are all over the place on this best-seller and I can see why. Everything about it is unconventional. It’s written entirely in the second person. You do this. You do that. It smacks of one of those early text-only role playing games like Zork or Amnesia. Eventually we learn that you are a young woman from Florida fleeing a rather nasty domestic situation by making a not-very-well-thought-out trip to Morocco. The author doesn’t bother to give most characters names. If I were to read my own description of this book I probably would never have chosen to open it, but I found it quite compelling. It’s described by reviewers as a “literary thriller” and that’s as good a label as any.

Almost immediately “you” have your backpack stolen, along with your passport, money, camera and apparently your sanity, since you then go on to do some rather insane things. Adventures and misadventures ensue in one long, continuous take. It’s a quick read, partly due to the fine writing style and partly because it’s almost impossible to put down since the plot, if one can call it that, consists almost entirely of crises on the brink of being resolved. I can’t give it five stars, but it kept me thoroughly entertained from beginning to end.

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