The World Tree (novel)
In an ambiguously grey city at an ambiguous point in the late 20th century, there's a tree. Every few weeks, like clockwork, someone will hang themselves from the tree, with little or no provocation. The story follows Winston Stein, a barista who's decided to go looking for answers after his girlfriend becomes the tree's latest victim.
- And I Must Scream: the trickster gets this treatment. He's turned into a blob of featureless flesh and buried beneath the tree so the roots start digging deeply into his body. He can't scream aloud, but his psychic screams start reaching out to those living nearby.
- Arc Words: "Burn the World tree."
- Came Back Wrong
- Complete Monster: see God Is Evil.
- Cosmic Horror: God. Arguably the trickster to some extent.
- Dark World: and when it starts to bleed over into the real world...
- Death Tropes: most of them
- Demonic Possession: well, Cosmic Horror possession. It amounts to about the same thing.
- Downer Ending: what were you expecting?
- God Is Evil: God is a cosmic horror who's willing to imprison someone in a pillar of flesh for the crime of trying to bring hope to humanity. Anyone who tries to end the punishment ends up meeting the same fate.
- It Always Rains At Funerals: lampshaded.
It was raining. There's an old Greek superstition about it raining whenever someone dies. Didn't stop it feeling rather trite though.
It ends with fire. It doesn't start so romantically.
- One Last Smoke
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: everyone within a certain distance of the tree with a certain mindset anyway.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Winston gets one after each dream. They get steadily worse as the plot progresses.
- Precision F-Strike: the Screw Destiny moment.
Winston: "Fate? Fuck that."
- Screw Destiny
- Starts with a Suicide: Sarah's hung herself just as the story begins.
- Suicide Is Painless: played straight, but justified.
- The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: dozens of suicides in the same place, over a fairly short period of time? Coincidence. Clearly.
- Your Mind Makes It Real