When I read the beginning of The Year of Dan Palace I felt sure I was onto a fantastic book and this has proved to be the case.
From the powerful emotion of the break-up of Dan and Nina's relationship in the opening pages to the completely unexpected ending, this book really is amazing.
It's a story about the complex relationships the main character, Dan Palace, has with three women: Nina, his current partner; April his ex-wife; and Jenny, a young woman he meets as the story evolves.
But it's also the story of a mid-life crisis triggered by the impending end-of-the-world (as Dan sees it) and a belated young adult road trip.
Dan is prompted out of the predictability of his mundanely successful life by the idea that a comet is going to end the world. He consequently decides to leave Nina and to try and make amends with April. In the process he hooks up with Jenny and her boyfriend, Andy, which results in a sequence of unexpected consequences.
The storyline moves rapidly from one eventful day to the next and the reader is soon immersed in the everyday trivia of Dan's existence and his attempts to change his life. At times the plot is surreal and bizarre creating for the reader a sense of the mental turmoil Dan is experiencing.
One of the great strengths of the book is the attention to detail. This is not a book for a quick read despite the ever changing plot. It's a book to savour and enjoy the beautiful clarity of the writing. The book's other strength is the excellent characterisation. These people are so real even though their behaviour is, at times, very peculiar.
I thought The Year of Dan Palace was stunningly good and I recommend it highly. Author Chris Jane has written other books which I shall definitely be reading as soon as time allows. You can get details of The Year of Dan Palace at the Amazon Kindle Store or the Author's Website.