The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, the latest book by Yann Martel (Vintage), looked to me like a novel, not a book of short stories (which it is). So, when coming close to the end of the first “chapter,” I was alarmed at how fast the story seemed to be wrapping up, with two-thirds of the book still left to read. I kept looking for new plot lines that would carry the story further, and when I got to the next “chapter,” I couldn’t understand why it didn’t seem to relate to what had happened before. To my credit, I figured it out within a page or two. What I now know is the first story in the book was my favourite—a sad and creative braiding of three levels of fiction and a good example of Martel’s unique style. The other stories, even after I figured out they were stories, were equally or more ambitious as literary challenges, but less interesting (to me) as fiction. Most important, however, this book taught me always to read the title page (where it says things like “and other stories”) before digging in.