A MAN CAME OUT OF A DOOR IN THE MOUNTAIN is the kind of book that you may need to read twice, or maybe even three times to appreciate its complexity. Adrianne Harun’s dark story bounces between the abstract and tangible, fantasy and reality, making it feel like you are riding a roller coaster.
Chief narrator, seventeen year old Leo Kreutzer lives with his mother and dying uncle in a godforsaken, northern BC town near the infamous and factual ‘Highway of Tears’. The type of evil that travels the highway also penetrates the community where Leo and his four childhood friends cope with the daily challenges of poverty, addiction, neglect and desolation. We see the devil’s imprint within the souls of the menacing and violent Nagel brothers as well as the abusive meth cooker, Gerald Flacker. Adding to the roster of losers are two newcomers, Hana Swann and Keven Seven, who in their own twisted way leave an indelible mark on the lives of these teenagers.
Yet there’s more. Uncle Lud is a storyteller, and through his tales Leo becomes absorbed in the myths and folklore, which ultimately become an integral part of the plot. Leo even manages unwittingly to foretell the future.
“…I guess we both must have known then that trouble was not on its way; it was already here. Although how could we have known how many forms that trouble would take?”
Adrianne Harun’s brilliance in telling this story is that you cannot tie it up neatly with a bow and be done with it. It stays with you and keeps you thinking, very much like peeling back the layers of the proverbial onion.
Reviewd by Kiara Fruncillo