Monday, March 20, 2006

Black Juice

Time for a quick update on the reading front. Black Juice by Margo Lanagan is really starting to grow on me. In retrospect I would say that after the first knock out story the others have been disappointing when placed against it - with the exception being the elephant tale. And if all this sounds weird, then that's exactly spot on.

One of the greatest barriers to this collection of short stories is that the themes and settings are perhaps beyond the reach and visualisation of most readers. There are a glutch of tales remaining but I would recommend the book to anyone who fancies something new and fresh. This is an imagination well worth discovering.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke is superb. I holding my judgement back, for when the book is completed. Yet I can say the first 400 pages are distinctive, well researched and fantastical fantasy of English magic. It's such a shame it's taken my 6 months to get around to reading the thing. Perhaps the idea of 1000 pages was off-putting?

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