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In and Down [Paperback]

Brett Alexander Savory
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 15 2007

In In and Down, Michael and Stephen are young brothers growing up with no female influence in their lives. Through their father's emotional absence and abuse, they come to believe women do not truly exist. One of the boys draws into himself, looking for answers to the confusion in his life, and throughout this descent, he experiences his past as though through a distorted carnival mirror. When he emerges from his inner journey, he is forced to confront a secret that has been buried deep inside for over thirty years.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Canadian editor (ChiZine) and novelist (The Distance Traveled) Savory employs a library's worth of borrowings in this disjointed novel of psychological horror. The quiet small-town atmosphere overtaken by a surreal carnival is straight from Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, with the green-suited Hob standing in for Mr. Dark. Eleven-year-old Michael's journey through the Freekshow's multi-level dreamscape reads like a D&D dungeon crawl set in a Sam Raimi version of Willy Wonka's candy factory. His older brother Stephen, who saves him from drowning and then cheerfully plies him with poison, is likewise more archetype than character, and scraps of oblique letters from their long-missing mother litter the narrative like so many plot coupons. A final 180-degree twist confuses far more than it enlightens, drastically altering the story's context with little warning. Savory's prose is smooth, but neither the ingredients nor the execution can lift this volume above the ordinary.
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Compulsively readable, it defies expectations even while seeming to embrace them. The book's final revelations are breathtaking. —Quill & Quire


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this TWICE! Sept. 6 2007
In and Down is a marvellously complex work that deserves multiple readings in order to be fully appreciated. It explores and interweaves a number of archetypal conflicts and themes including relationships between brothers, between fathers and sons, and between sons and mothers. One young boy's struggle with these relationships, his own sense of mortality, feelings of rejection, and yearning for inclusion and love take him into mystifying and horrific corners of his own subconscious where he must also face questions about the identities of everyone around him - including his own.
Savory's writing is beautiful and authentic - a real accomplishment considering the frighteningly bizarre world that he has created inside young Michael's head.
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