Review: The Fifth Dimension by Martin Vopenka



Publisher: Barbican

Publishing Date: August 2015

ISBN: 9781909954090

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.8/5

Publisher Description: Your business is dead. It seems like a deal – leave your family behind in Prague for a year, isolate yourself in a research station in the Andes, and come home with a fortune. With a treatise on black holes for company, Jakob settles in at altitude. The air is thin. Strangers pass by on dangerous pilgrimage while his young wife and kids take life in his mind. In mountain starkness, the big questions take shape – like what happens to love inside a black hole? 

Review: **Some kind of spoilers that trip along the edge of reveal so proceed aware.**

Alone on a mountain top, Martin is either focused on spiritual revelations or creating scenarios where his wife is having sex with him or other men. The corporation that hired him to sit on top of an Andes mountain like a hermit mystic has a manipulative degenerate operative (Denis) whose sexual advances erode the straightness right out of Martin. They eventually have weird gay sex after Denis jacks off in his refrigerator. So what does this have to do with the story line and plot? Absolutely nothing. Why is he being paid to be on a mountain top in the Andes? Who knows.

As Martin comes to grip with being alone (sort of) his understanding of the fabric of our universe and the spiritual element expands to encompass his own personal gestalt. These experiences take him into unexpected places of both the internal and external kind.

This was an unusual read. The writing was very good and the characters well developed. The scenes are rendered to the point where you feel that you are standing there with dumbass on a mountain top. The story line is easy to follow yet gets inserted with these weird instances that seem more like a vehicle for the author to purge his own personal demons/desires. The “spiritual” philosophy created by Martin as the fifth dimension (not the soul/R&B group) is funky but also seems to reflect the authors own personal philosophy as there are pages and pages of dialogue devoted to it.

For the minimal and austere storyline, I was ok. It lost a star due to the ending. 



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