Evening Post, 3 Mar 2006

The Helmet of Horror Victor Pelevin, Canongate, £12

In myth of the Labyrinth, a hero is thrown into a maze in which there lurks an 'orrible monster, escaping because a princess gives him a thread to find the route out. (The princess is also the monster's sister, but that's by the by.) In this self-consciously contemporary retelling, one of a series, the reader follows an internet chatroom thread, the monster is a rumour or a dream, and the hero appears to be biding his time. It's quite as tricksy as it sounds, but much more readable -- Pelevin has a flair for characterisation through dialogue.