In a collection of erotica called The Gates of Paradise (Manguel, 1993) is a wry story by Eric McCormack entitled simply Birthday Present. It opens with the middle-aged birthday-boy driving down a narrowing road through a snow-covered landscape. The description of him is shadowy, what he encounters old-fashioned and dulled, and he relates to nothing with any passion. Even when he stops at "High Point Lookout" the experience just seems "so familiar".