Sep 132013
 

I did not enjoy this book. It is not bad, this by-the-numbers fairytale built on lush prose, with little in the way of surprise: every metaphorical gun on the mantel goes off when it’s meant to, even those planted with heavy-handed deliberateness. The difficulties for me were its self-awareness, its peculiar pastiche of a particular vision of England (one filled with red thread in windows and milk-spoiling piskies) together with its admiration of Lewis Carrol and Gilbert & Sullivan. There’s a lot to love for many in this book, but some will read overdone treacle where others see pleasant sweetness.

 

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