Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Amphisbaena by Ray Succre

I totally enjoyed this novel! I was captivated in the opening scene where Bill dreams himself as escaping from a shark attack by tangoing with the shark while sea creatures gather round!

The novel focuses on Bill, a disillusioned maker of calendars, who strives to break with the picture postcard niceness of the calendar industry by putting together a calendar of car wrecks. However at the same time he finds himself dreaming of flying with geese through the cloud themed calendars put together by his arch rival.

Bill lives with his divorced brother and looks after his children.

“Yep, ribbit. Frogs don’t eat crayons, right?” Bill said, approaching the wondrous lecture from a more fantastical and child-like highway of thought. Jessica closed her eyes and frowned, beginning to cry. This, in her mind, was because red, which tasted better than the other colors (for she had dined a bit on each), was the color of pretty, like flowers, and flowers were for big bunnies and little girls, and Uncle Bill had called her a frog, which was a sad and sinister creature, no good to any color but green, the worst color, and then Uncle Bill had shown her, with his loud boy-ribbit, that she was no good, and a bad frog that did not get to have big bunnies or wonderful red ever again.

Meanwhile, Bill has started dating Amy and finds himself inextricably involved also with her close flatmate Janine. (The two women are actually the two heads of an ancient serpent). This leads to much confusion and emotional heartache for Bill, while offering lots of opportunity to explore gender relations and the internal split between people's emotions and their physicality.

This is a totally entertaining novel that blends Greek mythology with dreamlike fantasy and romance while offering loads of insight into the modern human condition.

Amphisbaena by Ray Succre, published by Cauliay Books.

You can read some of Ray Succre's poetry on Bolts of Silk here.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Loved the poetry - shall now try the book.

Lucy said...

You write a very inviting review!

Love the yewberry banner...

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Two heads of an ancient serpent? LOL makes Harry Potter seem like child's play.

steven said...

hey crafty green so i nipped over to the poetry link which is odd for me because i love narrative writing over poetry almost any time except i found this and it's like the great heap of astonishing poets i've dug up for my own blog's purposes. so read this:
nostalgia has its life in hundreds
of flashes, so strangely reduced
as to admire pebbles,
and though in warm memory
my father dictates, i, myself,
in them barely seem to infer a soul.

most of the memorable me
will only be found in other heads."

oh me oh my!!!! that's by the succre boy. tempting and astonishing!!! thanks for this steven

Julie said...

This sounds awesome. I always love your recommendations.