Griffin’s Hieroglyphs of Blood & Bone is a bizarre trip through the life of Guy, a recent divorcee who is in a personal freefall. His feelings towards his ex-wife are still a source of pendulum-swinging confusion, he hates his job, and his sole companionship is Karl, his younger bro-dude roommate and co-worker who is constantly trying to get him back in the metaphorical saddle. Guy has enough trouble with all of this to find a star to chart a new course by, then he meets Lily. Lily brings literal mystery back into his life, a mystery that seeps into every other vector point of it, sending Guy on a journey that brings every element of his life into question.
This is not an easy read. I don’t say that in terms of extreme horror, graphic violence, or vastly disturbing visuals. From almost the beginning of the book, Guy has experiences that cumulate in the reader wondering if they really happened at all. This is fair, because more than once Guy wonders as well. The depth to which this doubtfulness builds within the story and the varying levels to which it is resolved creates a tense apprehension in the ongoing process of Guy finding out what is actually real in his life. Griffin does a magnificent job of a crafting a story where the reader has little choice but to join in the unsureness (He almost does away with an ongoing sense of time altogether.) as the story goes to its inexorable end. Even at the end there is much unanswered, but it cannot be said that the questions asked are not beautiful, extraordinary, and weird. Not a book for people who absolutely need to have closure in their stories, but for anyone else who appreciates tales of the Modern Weird, you shouldn’t miss out on this.