Friday, March 25, 2011

Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan

So this was...weird.  Did you read Tender Morsels, also by Margo Lanagan?  I had the same feeling after reading this that I did after reading Tender Morsels.  A feeling of, "Huh.  Well.  That was...weird.  Is this really YA?  Whom would I recommend this for?" 

It's a collection of original fairy taleish stories.  For the most part, the stories were quite dark.  And, much like Tender Morsels, many of them had sexual undertones.  Some of the stories seemed to be from the perspective of animals, showing the violence of their lives.

They're hard to describe.  I don't really know what to say, which I know doesn't make a good review.   Let me try describing one in more depth.  "Under Hell, Over Heaven" was inspired by Lanagan's Catholic primary school education in the 1960s about Limbo.  Four children are stuck in Limbo.  It's being told from Leah perspective, who's in Limbo because she wasn't baptized.  The four children earn Brownie points with Heaven by taking those who have accidentally gotten into Heaven to Hell.  The children bring the Miscreant to Hell, where there is an incredible graphic and disturbing description of Hell opening up and the screaming and the burning flesh and the Miscreant getting dragged in.  The other three children are disturbed, but Leah wants to hold on to the feeling.

If ever you were part of a book club that wanted to read something dark and weird, this would give you SO MUCH to talk about.  Whoa.  So if you like the dark and creepy, take a looksy at this one.

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