This book is fascinating, albeit in the same way that a bad acid trip is fascinating.
Before reality TV, people would literally pay to see some mysterious amnesiac stranger who washed ashore.
The eldritch spirit of St. Louis
Choosing the alien over the other.
It's very believable that he had issues with "frowzy corrupt air."
If your job is 'rescuing people,' you sorta need to do it right the first time.
Your grandparents were arguing about the same things.
Turns out those things have a pretty sketchy history.