“he is conscious of the Seminary expanding ancient and vast on all sides—the yawning cold hallways like caverns of stone, the dank subvestries and classrooms with bubbling peeling plaster walls and a mildewed smell, frosty choirs of icy wood polished to a dull luster by the chafing of nervous hands.”
“schooled exclusively in cold places, always rain and chill waiting outside the walls; he would anxiously look forward to the halfhearted springs and moist, wilted summers.”
“A flat manylegged object exhaling odorless blue smoke scuttles over his left foot; he’s not disgusted, he doesn’t flinch.”
“Although he can’t see, there are shapes around him, darker shadows looming against the dark like cliffs and frothings like sea foam.There are things that seem like panels of transparence, windows, lightless as everything else but looking as if he’s peering through something, from one dark to another.”
“the streets buck and shift like the deck of a doomed ship, the air rises in hot transparent coils so that the city distorts, as if viewed through a window of wrinkled glass. The outlines of the buildings around him billow like smoke, they hide enormous roaring engines, legions of enemies.”
“his great coat is so black and terrible it’s almost leaking darkness, it smudges the air around him like a pall of coal smoke.”
“Passing the cemetery, he sees huge pulsing trees burrowing into graves with their roots, their branches forking like capillaries into fleshy clouds.”
Short but powerful, this neo-gothic novel, uses the crisp immediacy of the present tense to lead the reader on a hallucinatory journey from humanity to inhuman transcendence. After a miraculous recovery from near death, a young man known only as the Divinity Student is beset by strange dreams whose lingering effects further alienate him from his fellows.