There's not much by way of plot to Teju Cole's debut novel, Open City, in which a Nigerian psychiatry resident named Julius takes long walks around New York City. But the flights of Julius' mind both the things he remembers and the things he elides fuel a powerful and unnerving inquiry into the human soul. Cole has earned flattering comparisons to literary heavyweights like J.M. Coetzee, W.G. Sebald and Henry James, but Open City merits higher praise: it's a profoundly original work, intellectually stimulating and possessing of a style both engaging and seductive.