This is an experiment in commenting on a book while I'm reading it.
Part 1 is here.
Progress: Into Chapt. 5 - pp. 18 - 49.
It occurs to me that I can't just summarize the plot in these posts. I don't want to prevent you from reading this yourself, of course. I'll do my best to not spew the story.
I'm pretty sure the comic book story is the dreams of the boy in the coma, as there are interesting parallels to what's happening in the real world.
And, thank God, that story is kind of amusing. It's about a bunch of circus freaks who are abandoned by the circus because the knife-thrower hates freaks, and one of them makes a noise that causes him to nick his latest wife/knife-target on the thigh.
The language is much more florid, which initially put me off, but I have begun to enjoy the mood it creates. It's not a like reading a comic book, but it certainly has that mythical, "this is all just pretend" flavor.
Getting back to the real world, the style is much less baroque and creates a nice transition.
The father is presented less sympathetically than previously, and he's kind of a puker (he throws up and gags a lot). However, the last scene he was in, he crawled into bed next to his boy and started reading the comic book to him - very sweet.
The plot thickens when we find the doctor on a mission that has him meet up with a guy who's into knives. (See parallel with circus comic book story.)
I've really enjoyed the novel thus far and am looking forward to getting some time with it this weekend.