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I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

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So you may be familiar with the fantasy artist named Brom? Here's his gallery if you're not sure.
So he's written his first novel. The Child Thief, a retelling of Peter Pan which reads as if Charles deLint characters grew testicles and started using four-letter words stronger than 'damn'- yeah, dark urban fantasy. Ooh, eedgy, in that whole '15 years ago' kind of sense.

However, this is actually pretty creepy. Even if a literary light as dim as Orson Scott Card is pointed out ages ago that Peter Pan is one creepy-assed story if you think about what's going on in it (in his novel Lost Boys), this is still a worthwhile interpretation. I'm loving it, so far, but I'm not even 1/4th the way in. I hope he lives up to the promise of the initial few chapters.
  • I've been hearing good things about this book all over the place and I do believe your deLint comparison has just tipped me from "that might be a cool read" to "oooh! want!"
  • as if Charles deLint characters grew testicles and started using four-letter words stronger than 'damn'

    Wait... is that even POSSIBLE?!
    • I think it could happen, but they stop being deLint characters at that point.
      • At this point, I see so little wrong with that notion that I give it my full endorsement.
        • Hahahaha.
          Yeah, it's got that same sort of... timorously magical-realist thing that deLint does, does Child Thief, but it's got characters who seem to be possessed of the ability to examine their own actions and notice how they affect others- and who are able to discuss in their own internal monologue, at least, things that have happened to them that were bad.
          DeLint characters almost always are a bit damaged- but they never say 'yeah, Daddy touched me in my no-no place', even to themselves. ...now enough of my armchair psychoanalysis-masquerading-as-literary-analysis.
          • Yeah, I gave up on his books a while ago, although I did give his latest book a whirl because it wasn't in Newford, which I admit was a nice change. Unfortunately the first quarter or so of the book read less like a novel and more like he transcribed an atrocious RPG:

            "Where am I?"
            "You are here."
            "What is going on?"
            "This is the afterlife."
            "What does that mean."
            "You should go to the library."
            The next morning, our Heroine went the library..
            [repeat ad nauseum]

            I may have to give this a whirl. I've been a wee bit burned out on Intentionally Dark Urban Fantasy (No, really, we're BLEAK!) lately.
            • Yeah- this one has been, I suspect, a labor of love that has lasted for a good 15 years, based on how the acknowledgements page includes a fair bit of 'YEAH YOU ARE A GOOD FRIEND BECAUSE YOU PUSHED MY ASS TO GET THIS THING DONE'.
              maybe there will be a next one, but I suspect not.
  • So instead of holding it up to deLint, how does it compare to say, King Rat?
    • Nowhere near as painfully-obviously a first novel.
      It's got a glistery quality that Mieville seldom touches: Un Lun Dun is a better comparison.
  • Weird...

    So I just did a production (full of mishaps) of Peter Pan, and, as it inevitably does, a conversation commenced about how creepy Peter Pan actually is, especially if you arranged it in a different context. We came up with

    * Peter is actually a young looking, wealthy, pedophile who, while trying to kidnap John and Michael
    * Wendy stumbles on his attempt and his story of Neverland is to cover the truth. He lies and exaggerates to make him feel impressive. He has no interest in Wendy, but she keeps forcing herself onto him.
    * He "flies" the kids to a private island where he keeps the kids for "play"
    * The Pirates are merely people he hired to keep the boys from trying to leave.
    * Wendy finally manages to get Peter to sleep with her.
    *Eliza the maid managed to get the kids away while Peter was fighting Hook for real, who was mad about not getting paid enough.
    *When Peter comes back, and meets Wendy's daughter, she actually tells him thats Jane is HIS daughter.

    We were sick folks.
    • Re: Weird...

      That's pretty stunning.

      I just keep looking at Brom's page on the site and his quotations from the original Barrie, out of context, and just going 'augh'.

      The Child Thief is a squeamishly appropriate title, methinks. ;)
  • i'll have to read that. brom is one of my favorite artists (and a damn gracious guy). thanks for the pointer.
    • Hey, my pleasure!
      And I'd never seen a pic of him before his author photo. He looks a hell of a lot like something he'd draw, doesn't he?
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