The House of Doctor Dee bears many resemblances. Matthew inherits a strange house in Clerkenwell. With his friend Daniel, a transvestite who has some strange connection with his dead father, Matthew discovers that the house was once owned by famous Elizabethan magician and alchemist Dr John Dee. The narrative jumps back and forth between the sixteenth century doings of the strange doctor and the increasingly haunted Matthew.
But it just didn't work for me. The ramblings of Dr Dee are so interleaved with his occult imaginings that I found it hard to read. There are dream sequences that are not much different from day reality. Matthew also has dreams and it is difficult to decipher whether the ghosts are in his head or real. The story seems to have little structure and there are a lot of events that just don't seem to fit: why does Matthew defecate in his own garden and who is the tramp with the dog who seems to defy time?
Perhaps it was just a little too weird for me. June 2013; 277 pages
Books by Peter Ackroyd reviewed in this blog:
- The Clerkenwell Tales
- The House of Doctor Dee
- The Lambs of London
- Milton in America
- The Fall of Troy