Posts Tagged ‘parallel world’

Less of a novel, this is really a set of seven short stories, all set in a mysterious 7th continent, which reflect events in the world we are more familiar with.  ‘Electricity’ provides a warning against obsession with and reliance upon gadgets and technology; ‘Talking Skull’ talks of a young man’s travels to America and then back to his father’s farm; ‘Sins and Virtues’ talks of art being desecrated for the sake of money…

I’m not entirely sure what I think of this book.  I understand the concept, but couldn’t help being relieved to finish the book.  Like all short story collections, some are better than others.  I quite enjoyed ‘Cross Country’ – the story of an outsider (from Canada) being challenged to an unfair race by a local who was jealous of the attention the newcomer received, and ‘Sins and Virtues’ was also an interesting read with a clear message.  My favourite story was probably ‘Electricity’, which tells of a small town being introduced to electricity for the first time.  They have previously considered electricity to be something almost magical, but a schoolteacher who lives in the village, warns them of the addictive nature of it.  When the village is finally ‘switched on’ a minor disaster makes them reconsider their fascination with it.

However, ‘On Heat’, even with its clever twist just left me cold, and the final story in the collection, ‘The Prospect from the Silver Hill’ was just confusing.

All of the stories seem to have a dreamlike quality about them, and while there’s no doubt that the writing is eloquent and in places rather lovely, I’m never too keen on books where I feel like I’m almost missing the point of the story.  An interesting read then, but unfortunately this is not an author I will be hurrying to explore more books by.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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