Before we begin it is best you know this really is a totally warped novel, in the nicest possible manner, which will keep you turning the pages simply to find out what happens next: who has disappeared now and what happened; or, at least what you think may have happened. Your brain and your intellect is exercised until the final word is read.
In taking a journey into the other side of mental health, David Cohen has managed to keep the reader completely off balance, which in this instance is a good thing, as all is not what it may seem, or is it?
We meet Ken Guy, owner of the Hideaway self-storage units, Bruce, who works for him but has issues, Kelvin, the guy who knows everything there is to know about selling on e-bay, Ken’s girlfriend, Ellen, client of Hideaway and owner of a small mobility scooter business.
The self-storage units are folding up fast, with clients leaving or simply ‘disappearing off the face of the earth’. Ken is getting even more concerned as the sale of the goods from the units whose owners have simply vanished, just about pays the bills. Then there is the issue of the flashing, clicking fluorescent lights that never seem to be fixed, even though he repeatedly asks Bruce to fix them.
Rival storage firm Pharaoh’s Tomb, and former employers of Ken, have purchased vacant land close to Ken’s business, causing him great concern. He often stops there to check out what is a happening, but even after several months the site remains untouched, other than for a security fence and a gate padlocked with the ultimate in padlocks, the Sargent and Greenleaf.
Meanwhile, Bruce keeps appearing and mysteriously disappearing, much to Ken’s annoyance, seemingly turning up just when yet another client ‘disappears off the face of the earth’ and their storage unit needs to be emptied.
As we move further and further into the daily life of Ken, his everyday world seems a little bizarre, although functional, but it is not until Ken realises that yet again Bruce has disappeared, leaving him to cope with a rather extraordinary set circumstance, that life, according to Ken, begins to come unravelled.
Wonderfully unique, entertaining and captivating, Cohen has managed to capture a slice of life which, while darkly comical, cameos the issues that face so many of society’s members, with a rare and gentle understanding.