During the reading of "The Book of Astaroth" we learned enough about Sam Grimes’ background, work history and world view to show us that he’d profited from the sexual revolution of the sixties. He’d also found that somewhere in his mind or genome lurked the potential to murder. Like us Sam never discovered whether it had to do with Astaroth, the book, his own incessant repetition of the phrases from the book or some internal fault in his makeup. Sadly he never questioned the reality of his experience and that lack places him squarely with others who live the unexamined life.
Sam Grimes appears to make inadvertently bad decisions. A perfect example was his going to see Sally and Sari after his experimental college attempt to raise Astaroth. His need or perhaps desire to experience a two-fer with the women led to unintended consequences in the form of a detective asking him about the last time he saw Sari alive. Another load for him to carry while trying to prepare for the master’s exam. He doesn’t know whether she was really alive when he left and neither do we.
Was it suicide or was it murder? After the gruesome happening in the university cafeteria, Sam has to confront a horror in The Barn, another university venue. He thinks about his experimental college class. Did the student's death have something to do with the illustration Sam requested? More questions than answers as the story progresses.
One has to wonder where Sam Grimes was prior to his stint at the university. That question arises from his obvious enthrallment with the results of the sexual revolution. In the current academic environment he would probably face criminal charges or at the very least be banished from the campus and lose his teaching assistanceship. And where did his enthusiasm for primates come from? We'll have to read on to see whether our questions will be answered