goblins, rental hearts and calling monsters


'Running with him into that part of the garden which I have already described, they saw a score of creatures, to not one of which they could give a name, and not one of which was like another, hideous and ludicrous at once, gambolling on the lawn in the moonlight. The supernatural or rather subnatural ugliness of their faces, the length of legs and necks in some, the apparent absence of both or either in others, made the spectators, although in one consent as to what they saw, yet doubtful, as I have said, of the evidence of their own eyes–and ears as well; for the noises they made, although not loud, were as uncouth and varied as their forms, and could be described neither as grunts nor squeaks nor roars nor howls nor barks nor yells nor screams nor croaks nor hisses nor mews nor shrieks, but only as something like all of them mingled in one horrible dissonance. Keeping in the shade, the watchers had a few moments to recover themselves before the hideous assembly suspected their presence; but all at once, as if by common consent, they scampered off in the direction of a great rock, and vanished before the men had come to themselves sufficiently to think of following them.'


The Princess and the Goblin
(Page 78)



It was Halloween.
I decided to face a childhood fear.
...
I'm still horrified.
Fucking goblins.




'Half of a woman is given away each time we split ourselves with child, until all we cradle at night is a scrap of soul.'


The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales
(Sub-story: Underskirts)
(Page 15)


My sister's been reviewing the candidates for the Saltire Society's First Book of the Year Award.
(all over now, winner announced, fanfare provided)
She's a clever little bastard and it bugs me to no end.
But...
...because she's been involved, i get things like this entry by Kirsty Logan thrust at me and commanded to read or suffer the consequences.
...
Can this be my job?
I'd be fucking delirious if it was.
Especially if all the books were like The Rental Heart.
(unlikely, i know, but a bibliophile can dream)
I can't say the collection of stories is perfect.
Some stories stand out as better pieces of writing than others but i'm on my second book since reading the collection and it's still stuck in my mind.
Vividly.
Now that is good storytelling.
Sure, not-so-great literature can stay with you for a long time due to a compelling story eg. The Hunger Games trilogy, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
All not great works of literature but they have something that's more than the run of the mill.
Some ineffable something that leaves you wanting more... and more... and more and more and more.
Kirsty Logan most certainly has that.
In spades.
But what's even better?
What makes me truly excited about this girl?
Her writing is lovely, even beautiful in many places.
Not overly poetic but retaining an otherworldly feel.
Like a modern day Angela Carter.
!
The very idea of there being someone to fill Carter's literary shoes now that she's gone - excuse me while i sob buckets for my favourite writer - is so excruciatingly exciting, i can barely contain myself.

I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.


Ps. Read my sister's blogpost. She's way better at this reviewing malarky i.e. she actually talks about the book.




'Every time the monster moved, Conor could hear the creak of wood, groaning and yawning in the monster's huge body. He could see, too, the power in the monster's arms, great wiry ropes of branches constantly twisting and shifting together in what must have been tree muscle, connected to a massive trunk of a chest, topped by a head and teeth that could chomp him down in one bite.
"What are you?" Conor asked, pulling his arms closer around himself.
I am not a 'what', frowned the monster.
I am a 'who.'
"Who are you, then?" Conor said.
The monster's eyes widened. Who am i? it said, its voice getting louder. Who am I?
The monster seemed to grow before Conor's eyes, getting taller and broader. A sudden, hard wind swirled up around them, and the monster spread its arms out wide, so wide they seemed to reach to opposite horizons, so wide they seemed big enough to encompass the world.
I have had as many names as there are years to time itself! roared the monster. I am Herne the Hunter! I am Cernunnos! I am the eternal Green Man!
A great arm swung down and snatched Conor up in it, lifting him high in the air, the wind whirling around them, making the monster's leafy skin wave angrily.
Who am I? the monster repeated, still roaring. I am the spine that mountains hang upon! I am the tears that the rivers cry! I am the lungs that breathe the wind! I am the wolf that kills the stag, the hawk that kills the mouse, the spider that kills the fly! I am the stag, the mouse, and the fly that are eaten! I am the snake of the world devouring its tail! I am everything untamed and untameable! It brought Conor up close to its eye. I am this wild earth, come for you, Conor O'Malley.
"You look like a tree." '


A Monster Calls
(Pages 31-35)


This books needs to come with a warning.
...
I'm broken.

That is all.