As She Climbed Across The Table (1997)

Backcover Synopsis: What if your lover left you for, well, nothing? Literally nothing. Professor Philip Engstrand is an anthropologist who studies his fellow academics. The chief object of his attentions is particle physicist Alice Coombs, with whom he is deeply in love. But Alice stands with her colleagues on the cusp of a momentous discovery. Within their campus laboratory they have created a void in the universe, a true nothingness that they have named ‘Lack’. But Lack is no ordinary black hole. This is one void that displays the contours of a personality – a void that, as Philip begins to realise, utterly obsesses his beloved. Alice has fallen out of love with Philip and into love with Lack.

The main problem with the book was the ending, for me it was incomprehensible. The books itself is quite good, the characters are great and the core idea of the plot is interesting (for hard SF fans, the science behind the whole plot is dumb, so don’t think too much about it). But the ending really took away from the book, at least for me. It may be that there was a deep and meaningful message, or some important point, but Lethem wasn’t able to communicate it clearly. Maybe I failed the book, instead of the book failing me with a more transparent ending, but the outcome was still that I was’t satisfied with how the book ended.