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Theatre of Curious Acts by Cate Gardner (2011-12-21) Hardcover
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We first meet Daniel Cole knee-deep in mud and death in a trench in WWI, enduring what would seem to be the lowest of all possible moments that life has to offer. But as bodies fall and pile up around him, the young solider is unexpectedly jolted by visions of a grim, mind-bending otherworld that rivals even the insanity and despair of war. What follows is a journey that is rich, complex, and magical as anything ever dreamt up by Neil Gaiman or Lewis Carroll, yet like no other journey made before. I especially enjoyed the Four Horsewoman of the apocalypse, but Daniel is a wonderful protagonist. Throughout the story, he is equal parts confused, conflicted, and heroic, as all good men in trouble should be, and I quite liked him that way.
In all honesty, my crush on this book began months before its release when I noticed that I could order a bookmark from Cate Gardner that featured its intriguing cover art. In the weeks to follow, that bookmark saved my place in every book I read and it never failed to please me when I would open the pages of whatever I was reading and find the pearly images of art-manipulating master Simone Held right there and waiting for me, beautifully holding my spot. It made me so anxious to get my hands on the real deal.
This is a book for adventurous readers, make no mistake about that. To appreciate Theatre of Curious Acts, you must be absolutely willing to be carried along by its clammy tugs and pulls. You must also be a lover of apocalyptic fantasy that has, at its foreboding heart, a good deal of romance and soul. If you're that kind of lover, plunge in. Just forget about holding on.
Cate Gardner is a truly unique voice in the realm of dark fiction/horror/bizarro. Her work is intelligent, emotional, and vivid. Her characters are complex, her plotting and pacing feverish, and her ideas intriguing.
Step inside the theatre and see for yourself.
The Theatre of Curious Acts is dark, dank and disgusting, and so delicious I couldn't put it down.