Reviewed by Lorna Smithers
Fated, a satirical comedy set in 21st century Manhattan, is Browneâ€™s second novel. It follows the story of Fabio, aka Fate, one in a pantheon of flawed and degenerate immortals who govern human life. Fabioâ€™s main rival is his fellow immortal, Destiny. Whilst his task is the management of the lives of eighty three percent of populace, the â€˜fatedâ€™ humans who are condemned to paths that are predetermined and mass produced, the seventeen per cent that Destiny is in charge of are blessed with free choice. It is from this discrepancy that their conflict comes about. Fabioâ€™s life is radically transformed when he falls in love with a mortal woman, opening a causal breach as Fate begins to interfere in the workings of fate itself.
Browne uses the foibles of his characters to reflect our social condition in a way that is both funny and astute. Fabioâ€˜s â€œman suitâ€ and the mishaps he experiences with it are hilarious, and form a clever way of imparting the insights of an outsider on human life. An easy read with memorable characters and a philosophical depth, this book is timely, witty and observant. It forms an exemplary paradigm of using the standpoint of the â€œotherâ€ to provide a commentary on the lives and fates of mankind.