Monday, July 24, 2006
High Noon and Alice is sleepy
Jeff Noon’s fabulous Automated Alice has been taking up my time lately. This man knows how to use words. I’d read his ‘Vurt” first a few years ago, which helped towards the end of this book but ‘Alice’ was very different to this.
The voice was very cleverly borrowed from Lewis Carroll but the wicked sense of homour behind it was something else. Alice is in Manchester in 1989 and chasing a parrot instead of a rabbit. the parrot asks her riddles which she has to solve to get back to her aunt’s house in Victorian suburban Manchester. However, as with Carroll’s world, nothing is as it seems. People are hybrids of humans and animals, and in some cases inanimate objects. Ever seen a half-man half-sink? Alice fails to be too shocked by these things, even landing in a basement full of venomous snakes doesn’t rattle her(uggh!) I won’t give the ending away, but it’s a recommended read.