February 28, 2006

Darker ways in Lanagan's 'Black Juice'

(Happy ReadingYA Blogger-versary! We've been reading together for a whole year!)

'What If' is the question at the heart of Margo Lanagan's 2006 Printz Honor Award book Black Juice. What if the world worked like this? What if there were transgressions for which death was immediate, and your whole family was meant to watch? What if we saw the world as elephants see it?

Things are turned upside down, as a loyal servant learns about grace and dignity from a mistress who would rather dance with the gypsies than reign on her throne. Clowns are not feared nor particularly funny, but in fear -- of their lives. Powerful, disturbing, mysterious and haunting, this book of short stories gives a markedly different worldview to teens and adults alike. There is no 'happily ever after' present in this book of tales, and the reader finds that each character is presented with the facts of dark vs. light, evil vs. good, man vs. beast. How will each react? There is 'black juice' which runs through every vein.

Winner of the Best Collection World Fantasy Award for 2005, this novel is full of ideas so expansive and lyrically expressed that the stories must be savored slowly, sometimes aloud, to absorb them. Everyday beliefs are confounded as readers savor these intelligent, skewed and fantastic worlds.

1 comment:

a. fortis said...

Ooooh! Sounds good.