In and Down Paperback – Sep 15 2007
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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(2007-10-01)
"I loved In and Down's originality and unpredictability. It features a fascinating, frightening and vivid world entirely based on a little boy’s traumas, which makes it even more terrifying ... You should really read this if you’re seeking a gripping, smart horror novel that is definitely out of the ordinary!" —Maple Books(2015-03-06) See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
Savory's writing is beautiful and authentic - a real accomplishment considering the frighteningly bizarre world that he has created inside young Michael's head.