When Jeff Smith awakens in a Columbus, Ohio, hospital, he is a man devoid of any memory. With no missing persons matching his description, and no family to speak of, Smith is forced to piece together a life he cannot remember. He is haunted by dreams of someone he thinks to be his own undiscovered past. He chases this ghost from his dreams across the nation, failing to find anything other than confusion.
Grand Illusion is a thought provoking look at the modern world through the lens of a post-modern alternate future. Following the tale of one man through the lens of multiple potentialities, this third novel by Scott Reed uses post-apocalyptic satire to address everything from politics, to religion, pop culture, personal communications, and love.
Smith and his altar ego, David Cuddyback, traverse a complicated dystopian world searching for truth, finding only darkness in a world which seems to be falling apart. Say goodbye to family and friends as the novel captivates you with a story that weaves together masterfully. Set in a near future, society decaying all around them, the alternate world of David Cuddyback is explored through his own eyes as Reed introduces you to a variety of characters with no discernible link, yet somehow linked in consciousness by a future none of them knows will lead to a collision course with destiny.
Simultaneously set in Portland, Oregon, Cuddyback and his girlfriend Livvy wander through a crumbling society in one moment, and a fascinating array of potential parallel universes the next. The couple face many challenges, and their place, in a world crumbling around them. Grand Illusion is a complex look at modern society through the eyes of parallel existence, using the subtext of Cuddyback's different possible choices as a backdrop.
All through the book lay clues to where Smith may have started – the choices that seem to destroy his life. The story of Smith climaxes with a view into the personal demons that lead him to that Columbus hospital.
In the end, there will be characters you love, characters you despise, and characters who guide you through the morass of their world with hope for a future left not so bleak as the world inhabited by its characters. Reed uses hauntingly specific details, a distorted view of the future, and magnificent prose to blend a book of life and sadness.
Weary is the man whose path is unknown for he must travel in the darkness of life.