By Robert Kalich
MacAdam Cage, $24.00, 264 pages
The Investigation of Ariel Warning is not the story of a sky message. It is the story of a woman, Ariel Warning, who enters the lives of narrator Adam Remler and his identical twin David, struggling movie producers. The men both begin a relationship with their mysterious new assistant, and Adam becomes intrigued enough to look into her past, flying out to her native Minnesota, where he finds that he, his twin, and Ariel have much in common. A theme of twins runs throughout the novel.
This is one of the oddest books I’ve read – not in a bad way. It is clearly a first novel. Some parts are worthy of eye-rolling; the beautiful Ariel wants to sleep with not just one, but both brothers, and says so. Adam begins his investigation by going to the library, then to Minnesota, before it occurs to him to look on the Internet. However, there are flashes of insight, such as when Adam, wracked with guilt over his affair with Ariel, thinks he doesn’t care about God’s opinion as he doesn’t know God, but he does know his twin. Everything ties back to twins, easy to dismiss as an authorial obsession. However, in the end “twins” become a metaphor for the human condition – we are all connected, yet ultimately alone.
Reviewed by Stacia Levy