There are elements I like:
- the incident that changes life for Howard and Danny, sending them in separate directions. The "loser" becomes a winner and the "winner" becomes a loser, trying to forget the role he played and punishing himself. This psychological twist is interesting and believable.
- the Gothic elements that are (as it turns out) only partially developed. There are scenes, incidents, characters in this portion that aroused my interest, but were never fully fleshed.
- the story within the story, as Ray writes the story of Danny and Howard is a good concept, I think. I t has an intriguing aspect as the reader debates the role Ray plays/played.
But overall, the novel wasn't satisfying and was often annoying. When quotations marks and tags are deleted and more than two voices are taking part, the narrative is slowed down. Egan has received some acclaim for breaking rules, I just don't feel that the rules she breaks (for example, the dialogue) are beneficial, stimulating, or thought provoking.
Close to the end, my interest mounted, but I still felt dissatisfied. And then there was another ending...