The WEIRD (17)

Real-Time Review continued from HERE.

The WEIRD: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
First published in Great Britain 2011 by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books Ltd.

27/11/11 – two hours later

The Dark – Karen Joy Fowler

Fleas are astounding creatures. They can be frozen for a year or more and then revived to full activity. But November in the mountains is a stupid time to be out looking for them.”

Imagine an exact hybrid synergy of Hand’s ‘The Boy in the Tree’ and Shepard’s ‘Shades‘ (from earlier in this book) and, even then, you won’t have the least idea of the audit trail along which this powerful palimpsest of a tale takes you: a palimpsest of a plague’s years in layers: i.e. through centuries of reported history of Toynbeean challenge-and-response, decades ago of Viet Nam “tunnel vision” and the VN-vet protagonist’s later present post-preambles of reported victims and experience of the pervasive feral boy as both a good and bad force. Fleas, Spiders, Rats, yes, Rats… Mass Insanity and conspiracies of versions of  Bradbury’s ‘crowd’. Victor Charlie or Viet Cong. A good time to bury bad news: the Cuban Missile Crisis. But who judges which is worse: either the natural relentless course of things cruel and kind – the flowering of mental, physical, economic, conflict-inimical, far-flung diseases of the macrocosmic human condition with the “boy-dog” as antidote, decoy, sacrifice, effect or cause – or the fact that there wouldn’t be great Weird stories to tell about such things … unless you make them up. This one doesn’t sound made up.  “There is darkness inside us all that is animal.”

Continued as The WEIRD (18) page HERE.

Index of this whole real-time review HERE.

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