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Entries from Nov 2008

Margo Lanagan: Red Spikes

22 Nov 2008 · No Comments

Several of Lanagan’s spooky short stories start with deceptively simple, even prosaic, sentences, like “I arrived in moonlight; it wasn’t hard to find the way,” and “‘Well, at least it’s a fine night,’ said Mum.”
But these innocuous openings give little away. In what era is the story set? Does it take place in world like [...]

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Tags: fantasy · l-author · r-title · young adult

Doug Dorst: Alive in Necropolis

15 Nov 2008 · No Comments

The book jacket description and a handful of pull quotes (from writers with ties to the McSweeney’s camp, mostly) were enough to get me to read Alive in Necropolis, but the novel exceeded the expectations I had of it. It sounds perhaps a bit silly in capsule form: emotionally fragile rookie cop Michael Mercer rescues [...]

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Tags: a-title · d-author · fantasy · mystery · suspense

Jonathan Barnes: The Somnambulist

15 Nov 2008 · No Comments

Barnes’ first novel is promising, if less than entirely satisfying, and certainly not lacking in ambition nor scope. It’s set in a fantastic London peopled by flamboyant, unlikely charactersat the close of the 19th century. Several folk are Not As They At First Seem, including the narrator, who does, it should be noted, remark in [...]

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Tags: b-author · fantasy · historical · mystery · s-title

Nicola Barker: Darkmans

15 Nov 2008 · No Comments

Somewhere deep in Darkman’s 800-page-plus bulk, there’s a scene in which Isodore, a character who vacillates between quixotic haplessness and menace, climbs a lighthouse where he is menaced by a small black bird that may or may not exist. He descends from the lighthouse and wanders off, in search, according to his young son (who [...]

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Tags: b-author · d-title · fiction