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Monterra's Deliciosa & Other Tales &
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Anna Tambour, <strong>Monterra's Deliciosa and Other Tales</strong> (Prime Books, 2003)

For reasons that would take far too long to go into here, it took me forever and a day to finish <em>Monterra's Deliciosa and Other Tales</em>, which is odd considering it's a book I quite enjoyed most of the time. It's taken me almost as long to get round to reviewing it, and I don't quite understand that, either. It's not like I have anything outrageous to say or what have you. It's a collection of good, solid-if-not-remarkable-most-of-the-time stories that vacillate between fantasy and sci-fi, usually with a dash (or more) of comedy to leaven things. I could have done without the poetry as a whole, and I could have done with a good deal more of the book reviewing ("Literary Titan, Asher E. (huh?) Treat" is my favorite piece in the collection). When Tambour is on her game, as in, for example, "Travels with Robert Louis Stevenson in the Cévennes" (a fantastical story of Stevenson's trip narrated by his pack donkey!), the prose skips off the page and sparkles in your eyes. "Crumpled Sheets and Death-Fluffies," on the other hand, is a one-trick pony, a shaggy dog joke that goes on a bit too long. And I could sit here giving you balance all day with these stories ("Klokwerk's Heart" vs. "The Refloat of D'Urbe Isle", "Monterra's Deliciosa" vs. "The Afterlife at Seahorse Drive", and to be honest after all these months I still can't tell you which side "The Magic Lino" falls on...). In short, it's a story collection, and as with the majority of story collections, the quality is variable. But Tambour is a fine writer (fine enough that I augmented my print edition of this with an ebook edition--and I should caution you there are some formatting quirks to be found here--and then went off and grabbed an ebook edition of <em>Spotted Lily</em> when I was done with this), and she brings her A game to the table enough that this is a solid recommend. ***
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on February 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent collection of surreal and darkly fantastic short stories from Anna Tambour. The stories contained therein range from funny to disturbing - but they all are thought-provoking and each contains a unique beauty. Well worth a read. By the way, you will find yourself wanting to try medlars by the end.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I'd like to compose a nice long essay here, because this book is worthy of at least that, but am tossing this off while my daughter watches tv, and I don't want her to watch too much, so here we go, just quickly:

I don't read much fiction these days, and if I do, even less than not much of it is Australian. But Anna Tambour; what a voice, what a mind. It's a thrill to get down inside it, where it's pleasantly rank, a bit caramelly; the mind of someone who's done the hard work of investigating interesting things really deeply; especially natural things; her hands healthily dirty with all her fearless digging down where the slaters and worms are.

There's a fable about seven scientists that everyone in the sciences should read; there's a story about medlars that gave me a vertiginous feeling, a feeling like, wait, is this my world, or have I been completely blind all along...

Another about cannibals, another about higher dimensional murder -- and so on - none of them science fiction, as such -- they are what they are. Tambour fiction...

Ok, switching off the tv now.
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