Redhead By The Side Of The Road - Anne Tyler, MacLeod Andrews

'Redhead At The Side Of The Road' opens with:


'You have to wonder what goes through the mind of a man like Micah Mortimer. He lives alone. He keeps to himself. His routine is etched in stone.'


Yet this is not something most authors wonder about at all.


Not unless it turns out that Micah Mortimer is an ex-CIA black ops assassin, hiding from his violent past, or a yet-to-be-discovered serial killer, or about to inherit a mysterious object from a distant, reclusive relative that reveals him to be the only one who can hold back the demon hoards as the veil between the world thins.


What makes Anne Tyler unique is that she can summon up the life of this ordinary, disconnected man in a way that combines empathy, acute insight and just a hint of wry humour. I listen to a day in Micah's life and I'm enabled to see him more clearly than he has ever seen himself and, instead of shaking my head at how clueless he is, I'm left wondering just how clearly I do see myself.


The book is accessible and engaging. Even though Micah isn't the classic broken man with a dark past, I do want to know what is going to happen to him and how he came to be how he is; a man who fixes computers for old ladies, a man who believes that if your house looks cleaner when you've cleaned it then you've left too long between cleans, a man to whom it never occurs, when his girlfriend tells him she's going to be evicted, to offer her shelter.