Dec 9, 2012

Book Review–Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan

crackleMargo made me cry again with one of her stories in this collection.  So yes, I liked it.  Like it so much that I saved reading the last story for some six months after buying.

I also love the Twelve Planets range and the cover art of Amanda Rainey. The wasabi green cover of Cracklescape is no different, it helps make an impressive alternative rainbow on my bookcase.

But you’re here for the stories.

There’s four, in line with the brief of the Twelfth Planet Series.  They offer a range of what Lanagan is capable off while also being decidedly more grounded in an Australian setting.

The Duchess Dresser is an offbeat ghost story, a great mood piece that I found unsettling but not distressing.

The Isles of the Sun is a tale of magical disappearance told from the point of view of the child experiencing it and the mother left behind.

Bajazzle I’ll let you discover for yourself.  Witchcraft, an unlikeable but recognizable misogynist protagonist and a whole lot of feeling uncomfortable if you’re a bloke.

Significant Dust, a story of escape woven into a tale of a historical reported UFO sighting.

Significant Dust was the story that had me reaching for the tissues.  It’s not quite so gutting as my favourite Lanagan, Singing My Sister Down, because there’s a hopeful ending or at least Margo has left enough room for me to imagine one.

I’d recommend this collection to your Lit friends that think that the fantasy genre is populist and lacking in depth and quality of prose.  Margo’s one of those writers that you can’t pin down, or pigeonhole. A writer who can turn her hand to almost anything and make it her own.

awwc2012_thumb[1]This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women.



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