It is always awkward when a friend gives you a copy of his or her book or record to review. I always remember how horrid it was in about 1990 when Fairport Convention, some of whom were then friends of my and my first wife Alison, sent us a copy of their CD The Five Seasons and we absolutely hated it! It was horribly embarrasing, because not only were two of the band our friends, but they had autographed a special promotional copy for us.
This has happened to me on other occasions, and I usually wince when someone I know sends me a book, record or film. The other nioght I was chatting to Lizzie Clancy who is familiar to bloggo readers as a regular contributor. She had written a novella she said. "Oh dear" I thought, but bought a copy to be nice.
READ MY LIPS
READ MY LIPS
This book is bloody fantastic, and shows a depth of literary ability that I would never have guessed that Lizzie was in posession of. It tells the story of a girl called Carolina who, when the normal childhood imaginary friends and "fairies at the bottom of the garden" don't fade away with the onset of puberty, gets sent to a mental hospital. Some years later she runs away and finds herself in a strange household of monster hunters presided over by an aristocratic stigmatic.
This is Harry Potter on mescalin. This is contemporary fantasy with very few cultural reference points; like most such books it has echoes in Alice in Wonderland etc, but this is Alice with mental health issues, living in tumbledown suburbia, and with Current 93 on her iPod. If it were not for the fact that we are notoriously dreadful at selling fiction, I would start a bidding war with her current publishers for the rights to publish the sequel.
The only thing I ask dear is, if and when CFZtv manages to get a budget, I want the rights to make the film. But the book at the link below - you will NOT be disappointed.