"It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away." —Bee Gees
I liked this. It would've been better if it was shorter, because I felt I had to trudge through hundreds of pages of literary/cinematic/cultural allusions, mentions of this or that obscure reference book, and bits of wisdom courtesy of the main character's scholarly Dad (some of these were amusing, a lot went over my head, and as a whole ultimately tiring to read) before getting to the real crux of the story, which we already know was going to happen since page 1. After that the novel takes a turn to the realm of the far-fetched, the coming-out-of-nowhere, the ambiguous (I was already acquainted with Pessl's tendency to do this, having read her other book, Night Film), which is exactly when it finally starts to become unputdownable for me. Overall it's a fun book; mysterious, funny, pretentious, gimmicky, but mostly fun. I just wish I hadn't spent a month dragging myself through it.