It is Snowman, the tragic herald of this political indeterminacy, who voices the strongest denial of it. As he considers the current British government: “This talk, growing in their circles, of galloping authoritarianism, of outright abuse of human rights, of the curtailment of essential liberties, of the neutering of opposition and dissent, was hugely overblown.” No other character is so sure, which I don’t think is accidental. This novel demonstrates that the only prospect scarier than the thin line between democracy and some darker social organization is the blurry line. The House of Journalists may have already crossed that moral threshold; even at the book’s end, nobody knows. Given the present geopolitical climate, this could all very well apply to our world. Imagine that. Here we could be, all of us, on the blurry verge.

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Trevor Quirk is a writer living in Saratoga, NY. Find more of his work at