The House of Rumour
by Jake Arnott
A brilliant melange of real and fictional characters populate a narrative that jumps between the present and World War II with stops in between. There’s conspiracies, alien abductions, black magic, science fiction writers and more, all of which exist in a place where truth is stranger than fiction (or at least, equally weird) and where everything may be nothing more than the sad imagings and idealism of people who have too great a capacity for self-delusion. Most of the historical figures are sad, desperate and lonely, as are many of their fictional compatriots, Ian Fleming stands out as someone consumed by his double life and the existence of his famous creation, though the rocket scientist Jack Parsons is also destroyed by his obsession. All in all, an interesting line runs from Rudolf Hess, Aleister Crowley, Fleming, Parsons, Robert Heinlein and others and the author ties together the zeitgeist of these figures with the Cuban revolution and the Jonestown tragedy.