Panina Manina, a trapeze artist, falls and breaks her neck. As the ringmaster bends over her, he sees around her neck an amber charm—just like the one he gave his own child before she was swept away in a torrent 16 years earlier. This tale is narrated by Petter, a precocious child and a fantasist, and perhaps Jostein Gaarder’s most intriguing creation since Sophie. Petter makes his living selling stories and ideas to authors suffering from writer’s block. It’s a lucrative trade, but as he sits like a spider in the center of his web, Petter finds himself in a trap of his own making. Jostein Gaarder is the author of Sophie's World, a huge bestseller in over 40 countries.