- Harsher in Hindsight: Where do we begin? The US entering and winning a war with Germany? A seemingly opulent but corrupt decade following in its wake? Russia being taken over by radicals who eventually conquer much of Eastern Europe? A superficially benevolent but totalitarian government creating death chambers?
- Values Dissonance: The American reforms apparently include banning "foreign-born Jews," among other questionable things, and are claimed to have ushered in an era of "tolerance and equality."
- Of course this is according to the narrator of the story, who's also a blackmailer and batshit crazy. So you don't necessarily have to take the sentiment at face value.
- Fridge Brilliance: The narrator of The Repairer of Reputations mentions that he has been unable to work, and in fact has been a social recluse, since being thrown from a horse a few years prior. His cousin Louis appears to be his only mentally stable social contact and possibly responsible for his material support as well. The things the narrator describes may very well be distortions of reality ("suicide chambers" are subway entrances; the military parade is actually a regular police patrol; the battleships are regular merchant vessels). Louis remarks that the crown the narrator removes from a safe is actually a theater prop he was keeping in a biscuit tin. This all sounds like the result of the traumatic brain injury the narrator suffered in his riding accident.
Thom Ryng's play "The King in Yellow":
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: At various points the play indulges in ham-fisted political commentary about civil liberties and indefinite detention and various other comments that the reader might assume are obvious references to post-9/11 America. Until you remember that the book was written in 1999!
- The Woobie: Camilla, a silly, superficial princess who goes mad from the revelations of the Stranger.