Thursday, May 30, 2013

Truth or Death?

THE REAL BOY by Anne Ursu. Walden Pond Press, October 2013.

Order this one now, folks. Anne Ursu, who gave us BREADCRUMBS, now tackles Pinocchio on her splendid reimagining of the story. Throw away all your preconceptions, especially those that center on Jiminy Cricket and good old Walt Disney's adaptation. Suspend your disbelief, and enter the world of Oscar, a young boy in the employ of the local magician in the Barrows. Oscar is kept in the cellar. His task is to gather herbs and prepare them for various concoctions. The magician has an assistant who works in the shop. Well, until one day when the assistant and his tryst are found dead out in the woods that surround (and protect) the Barrows. Now Oscar must be upstairs, must deal with customers from the Barrows and from the shiny city. As Oscar interacts ore with other people, he begins to suspect all is not well in his world, and it all has to do with magic. Motifs, archetypes, magic, and more meet in this remarkable novel.

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