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Salter is usually so much better than this. The protagonist is flat, a wise man working at his craft. Credit is due in that he does change as the story winds on. There are some good climbing scenes among the trackless wastes of aimless wandering-both figuratively and literally.
You could take this as an existentialist descendent of The Stranger and Camus' flat and uninteresting protagonist, Marsault.
If this was Salter's aim, he could have done better with a more compelling plot and engaging characters.
Nothing says you must be tedious to be an existential hero.
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