Night of Delusions, by Keith Laumer
Tough private eye (or is he?) explores the mysteries of epistemology
(Review posted 30 Nov 2003 17:21:38)

Laumer likes to play with madness, illusion, paranoia, delusion, the nature of reality, and all like that there. This time around, our protagonist is (or seems at first to be) a famous tough guy, enlisted into a murky conspiracy involving an insane Senator and a web of deceit designed to bring him back to sanity.

But that doesn't last long.

A book that pulls "and then he woke up; it had all been a dream" not just once, but several (a dozen?) times, and leaves armies of loose ends not only not tied up but entirely in flames, would normally be annoying. In this case, though, it's all part of the point, and (despite some slightly heavy-handed moral narrative once or twice) the point is fun to get to, and worth all the trouble.

In The Infinite Cage, the protag winds up (more or less) as a God. In this one, he becomes God, and then goes through and out the other side. The love of a good woman saves the day more than once (although it would have been nice to get to know her a little better), and while it's not actually clear what's going on at the end, that is (again) sort of the point.

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