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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(2007-10-01) See all Product Description