"Intricate Entanglement" Book Review
Written by Su Halfwerk
2011, 128 Pages, Fiction
Book released on March 1st, 2011
Being a journalist in this day and age must really suck. Do people even read newspapers anymore? In any case, Doug Pinkham's job is bad enough before he gets stuck with the weird assignment of investigating the spontaneous combustion death of a detective. The story brings Doug to the Equanimity Psychiatric Hospital where the detective had spoken to the doctor on staff. Doug's car breaks down on the way and he's stranded at the asylum. While he waits for the doctor, he's given a tour by a strange orderly named Gene. As the two walk around the grounds, the orderly shares stories of some of the patients, each more maddening than the last.
There's definitely something odd about this place and Doug can't quite put his finger on it. The tales that Gene tells him seem like they'd be great for a book so Doug hastily takes notes. These stories range from a woman who believes she's the reincarnated soul of Psyche from the ancient Greek stories to a cannibal doctor trying desperately to fit in to a normal life to an author with the power to kill with his typed words. After each story, Gene questions what was actually true.
This is where the book really shines. These narrations are pretty average, something you'd get out of a late night viewing of Tales from the Crypt, however the discussion afterwards is far more interesting. The book takes place in an asylum so the subjects are all insane to some degree. If they're crazy, did the events that brought them to this place actually happen? Or was it all in their heads? Author Su Halfwerk weaves these tales in such a way that I found myself constantly questioning what I thought was the true story.
The characters were almost entirely unlikeable though. Even Doug is a complete tool. It's tough to identify with a person if they have little to no relatable traits within them. I often found myself wanting to reach into the book and strangle some of these people based on their actions. That could be a testament to Halfwerk's writing though as I was emotionally frustrated with these fictional beings. It's certainly much better than being apathetic towards them.
On the surface, Intricate Entanglement sounds a little bit like Arkham Asylum, a Batman story written by Grant Morrison a few years ago...but without the Joker...or Batman. It's a terrifying peak into the world of the mentally deranged that will have you wondering what is real and what is the truth.