Archive for the ‘Allegory/Fable’ Category

BOY, SNOW, BIRD by Helen Oyemi

“Nobody ever warned me about mirrors so for many years I was fond of them, and believed them to be trustworthy.” So begins the dazzingly imaginative and enigmatically-named new novel from Helen Oyeyemi.

But what happens when mirrors are not trustworthy? When Boy is really a girl? When a beautiful pale-skinned youngster actually shares the bloodline of the blackest of black individuals? When beauty is not truth and when truth is not beauty? When a mother or a grandmother is not a safe haven but something else entirely?

March 10, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Class - Race - Gender, Contemporary

SILENCE ONCE BEGUN by Jesse Ball

I have never quite read anything like SILENCE ONCE BEGUN. It’s disturbing, lyrical, original, provocative, and experimental in the best of ways. Yet it stands on the shoulders of giants that came before it: Sartre comes to mind, as does Camus.

The premise is instantly (pardon the pun) arresting. A thread salesman named Oda Sotatsu signs a confession for a crime that has baffled the Japanese authorities – eight older individuals disappear without a trace in what becomes known as the Narito Disappearances. Yet once jailed, he utters barely a word….even though we, the readers, know he is not guilty from the first pages.

January 22, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Literary, Reading Guide, Unique Narrative

HARVEST by Jim Crace

Jim Crace’s Harvest reads like a simple moral fable of a tiny and remote medieval English village, destroyed externally and internally by the conversion of farms into sheep pastures, but wait! There is far more to it than meets the eye.

Mr. Crace is particularly interested in pairings: everything comes in twos, right from the opening pages.. Two signals of smoke rise up: one signaling the arrival of new neighbors who are announcing their right to stay; the second, a blaze that indicates the master Kent’s dovecote is gone and his doves taken.

Both subplots radiate from these two twinned smoke signals. The stories, narrated by Walter – the manservant of Kent who was paired with him from the start by sharing the same milk – is both an insider and an outsider (yet another pairing). He is not of the village although he has become part of it.

January 15, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Literary, Man Booker Nominee, World Lit

CAIN by Jose Saramago

Saramago’s last, indeed posthumous, book is a real treat. Brief, inventive, funny, it furthers the author’s well-known distaste for religious dogma by traversing many of the familiar stories of the Old Testament by means of a fanciful parable told from a rational point of view. Much like The Elephant’s Journey, it shows Saramago’s stylistic fingerprints in relaxed form.

October 4, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Alternate History, Humorous, Satire, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE, a play on words for the ReadMe file that accompanies many computer programs, is above all a wild adventure/detective story set in the present day. As one would expect from this author, current technology features prominently. The cast of characters is international, offering windows into such diverse types as Russian gangsters, Chinese hackers, American entrepreneurs, Idaho survivalists and second amendment fanatics among many others.

September 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, China, Scifi, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morganstern

Illusion and reality intersect and overlap to reveal a luminous, mesmerizing character– Le Cirque des Rêves (The Circus of Dreams). As the sun is the center of the solar system, the Circus of Dreams is the central character of this enchanting tale. Like a magnetic field, Le Cirque des Rêves pulls in other characters like orbiting satellites around a bright star. This isn’t your childhood circus–rather, this is more in tune with Lewis Carroll or M.C. Escher–a surreal and hypnotic place of the imagination and spirit.

September 13, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, Debut Novel, Speculative (Beyond Reality)