Only Angela Carter could have devised the coarse golden character of Fevvers, the Cockney miracle around whom this tale spins. Girl takes wing, boy flies after, girl loses and gets wing and boy -- that's mad enough, but it gives not the least taste of the crumbled, intricate, and ultimately wonderful world of this particular circus. Carter's ability to interlace sharp doses of political and intimate realities into the mix not only teaches you lessons unaware, but opens you to a larger definition of what can be. Once upon a time, or somewhere right now, chimpanzees condescend to humans, monstrosities speak with wise prophesy, a pig manages a business better than her owner. So open up another bottle of champagne, and surrender. It will be rough, it will hurt, it will be uproarious. It will ultimately be wonderful. So is this book.