Friday, May 13, 2011

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan

Oh Margo, I love you. You are in a class of your own when it comes to writing compelling stories that tug and tug and TUG at your heart. And stories that say so much in so few words. This was my first time reading your short stories and I can now proudly tell everyone that Tender Morsels was most definitely not a fluke. Ms. Lanagan can do no wrong...when it comes to writing at least :p I've talked to her a few times on twitter but don't know her THAT well :p I can however tell you that from what I do know of her she's an amazing person as well. Black Juice is a collection of short stories that's worth it just for the first story alone. "Singing my Sister Down" is a story that may just send you through a whole box of tissue. I cried my eyes out reading it. About a young girl being punished for her crimes by being sunk into a tar pit slowly while her family bids her farewell. It's not just the writing and the story that's beautiful and wrenching, but the WAY Lanagan tells the story. The sweetness of it, the wrongness of it all, the horror of it, the utter despair of it. The being unable to stop everything. Yes, I may have screamed "make it stop" at the page.....maybe... But it doesn't stop....she continues to make you think and make you feel with the remaining 9 stories. "Sweet Pippit" was another beautiful beautiful. It takes a look at elephants like they've never been looked at before as they go in search of the young boy, Pippit, who once cared for them. God, I'm getting emotional again just thinking of that story. And then there's "Yowlinin", another sort of dystopian story that I absolutely loved. What I love about a story like this is that it's a very action based story as in there are killer beetles flying around, but at the same time, it's a very personal story too. Something that I'm sure is not easy to write, much less write as well as she does. This is one of my new favorite short story collections. Right up there with Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors and trust me...that's saying a lot for me to put someone in the same ranks as he is to me, lol. Read it. Enjoy it. Expect more from your stories after reading it.

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