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Book reviews


Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus just appears. Everything about it is extraordinary. But what is really going on? This book is a remarkable, imaginative achievement. There’s no ‘Ah, I can see what’s going to happen next’. I bet you won’t. Layers and layers appear. And you are gently drawn through them, in turn dark and dazzling, as you follow the different lives of this wonderfully woven story. One page is worth sharing…’stories have changed, my dear boy.” the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad. “There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognise for what they are. And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise.

Things keep going on, they overlap and blur, your story is part of your sister’s story is part of many other stories, and there’s no telling where any of them may lead. Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story? Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should? Though perhaps it is a singular wolf who goes to such lengths to dress as a grandmother to toy with its prey.”

Widget sips his glass of wine, considering the words before he replies.

“But wouldn’t that mean there were never any simple tales at […]

By |March 15th, 2013|Book reviews|Comments Off on Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Open the pages and be taken to the mountains and hard farming lands of Alaska in such a vivid way your blu-ray player will be jealous. You’ll be able to taste the taste that air has when it has been washed by snow and distilled by frost and ice to crisp almost metallic purity; where you can feel the rocks and soil and see everything so sharp it’s as though you are there. And then unfolds the story of people carving a living in the wildness. And then – the snow child. I’ll say no more, because the joy really is in the finding out. As it says on the front ‘Spellbinding’ Daily Telegraph; ‘Enchanting’ Daily Mail. It’s a fairy tale, like the greatest you know, and like no other. It’s exquisitely extraordinary. There are 4 pages of rave reviews within. It deserves them all.

By |March 15th, 2013|Book reviews|Comments Off on The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey