Monday, January 31, 2011

Abarat by Clive Barker


"Well, say it out loud so we can hear you! What are you?"
"I've... forgotten, sir."
"A spit-for-brain fool. Say it! Go on! Say: I'm a spit-for-brain fool, sir."
"You're a spit-for-brain fool, sir."
Wolfswinkel slammed down the telephone.
"WHAT DID YOU SAY?"

Chickentown is the most ordinary, boring town there could ever possibly be. The only "fascinating" fact about it is that it's the largest supplier of chicken meat in Minnesota.
Candy Quackenbush is not an ordinary, boring person. Candy Quackenbush should be ordinary- she lives with her ordinary mother, her ordinary brothers, and her ordinary (although abusive and alcoholic) father. She goes to an ordinary school where all the ordinary people grow up to be ordinary workers at the ordinary chicken meat factory.
But the fact remains: Candy is quite an extraordinary person.
After series of events involving a suicidal town namesake, a mysterious legend, a report, a creepy guy who for some reason wants to kill candy- and another strange man who wants to help her- Candy is swept off, literally, in an ocean to a world called Abarat.
While in Abarat, Candy learns of the different islands- each is a different time- and the people who inhabit them. She battles the "evil" of Abarat: a disturbingly fascinating person by the name of "Christopher Carrion", and much, much more.

"Oh, come on," said Candy. "We've been through this. We're in Minnesota. There is no sea in-"
Candy stopped mid-sentence. Mischief had put his hand to his mouth, hushing her.
As he did so all of his brothers looked off in one direction or another. A few were sniffing the air, others tasting it on their lips. Whatever they did and wherever they looked, they all came to the same conclusion, and together they murmured two words.
"Shape's here," they said.
My mom originally got this book (and the sequel, Days of Magic, Nights of War) on tape, several years ago. We listened to it, and I loved it. It quickly became my favorite book, and I actually listened to it several times on tape.
Last year or so, I found the book on a shelf at a book store. While I didn't get it, I paged through it and was immediately captivated by the pictures. (Yeah, these are illustrated.) They're colorful, beautiful, queer, creative, and creepy.
So, pretty much, just like the book.
I really like this book, and I'm STILL waiting for the third installment in the series. :)
Five stars out of five!

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