The Man with the Horn is one of the best metaphysical fiction books I’ve read. It’s unusual, delightfully so. The author is highly accomplished in her craft and weaves an excellent story as well as giving deep insights into the characters. The story revolves around a prostitute, a male friend, a client and a couple of transvestite prostitutes, and such characters always make for interesting reading simply because it’s a world that most of us don’t touch upon in our daily lives. Added to this is the metaphysical aspect which is extremely well handled. Though the word is never mentioned, the central character Passionaria embodies the concept of the sacred prostitute—during sex she communes with her god, Dionysus, and turns the act into a spiritual experience.
Following ancient and universal pathways to transcendence, the book deals primarily with the client’s purification and culminates in a ritual of symbolic death and rebirth. The male friend’s frustration and jealousy of the client – who gets the sex with Passionaries that he craves but cannot have – is a dangerous thing and adds tension as the book builds to the ritual. The mystery is whether or not the symbolic death will be symbolic or real.
Highly recommended for readers of metaphysical and literary fiction. 5 stars.