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In and Down Paperback – Sep 15 2007


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Gifts For Dad




Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Brindle & Glass; First edition (Sept. 15 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897142269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897142264
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,096,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Compulsively readable, it defies expectations even while seeming to embrace them. The book’s final revelations are breathtaking. —Quill & Quire

(2007-10-01)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christie Harkin on Sept. 6 2007
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
If Alice had been a boy – and her life a complete mess – then her journey through Wonderland might have been quite similar to In and Down by Brett Alexander Savory. You might have found the work of Lewis Caroll somewhat creepy (if not, read again the part when a hideous Duchess nurses a piglet while her cook throws dishes at their face for no apparent reason) but wait till you get into eleven years old Michael's head: he doesn't have a mother, he almost drowned once, his brother plays vicious and life-threatening pranks on him, his father is some rude, neglectful fly-eater and finally, his inner world is a vast nightmare.

"I'm not coming home tonight. The boy makes me uneasy. You love him. I can't."

Those are the words of a letter signed by the mother of Michael and his brother Stephen. Mother. They didn't know they had a mother. Actually, they didn't know women existed at all. When Michael finds this message, it triggers the beginning of a strange and scary journey into himself. The novel switches constantly between memories of Michael's childhood and his adventure in his horrific inner world, which encourages the reader to (try to) piece the facts together.
Michael's world – what I love most about this book – is surreal and often absurd, in the same way Alice in Wonderland is, except it's also dark and frankly disturbing. It is centred on a derelict carnival with a single ferris wheel spinning empty wagons by itself, people walking rotten animals on leash, dead mimes attached to poles for belly-poking, and pig-shaped balloons with X where their eyes should be. The typical carnival, really.

"This carnival is like the one to which the boy's father takes them.
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