Even Anne Tyler can’t make a solitary Baltimore janitor sound interesting

Micah Mortimer, the strikingly unproactive protagonist of Anne Tyler’s 23rd novel, is a man of such unswerving routine that his rare moments of whimsy — slipping into a foreign accent on Mondays when the week turns to floor-cleaning and ‘zee dreaded moppink’ — come to seem like unfathomable caprice. Indulging a sudden hankering for a takeaway barbecue is as wild to him as one of Hunter S. Thompson’s most lurid binges. The reasons for his cautious mundanity are unclear: he emerged from a chaotic family, but so did his convivial, cheerful sisters; he’s no stranger to romantic disappointment, but then who is? Now in his forties and scraping a living