5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A remarkable meshing of dark satire and humanist pathos,
This review is from: Spotted Lily (Paperback)
SPOTTED LILY is a remarkable novel of dark satire. It is brutal and terrifying. It is painful and beautiful. It is profound and I think it has the makings of a classic. This is far from an easy read, and it is not commercial -- it simply cannot be, not with the nature of themes it explores: god is dead and ultimate ennui.
Herein lies a peculiar, resonant, and bitter combination of Bulgakov's THE MASTER AND MARGARITA, a very adult version of Philip Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS, and frequent touches of Kafka and Marquez's ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE.
The satire is dark and biting and yet it is the pathos of Angela that got to me, her humanism and vulnerabily and the subtle nature of the fragile self and self-image hell (on earth!) she wallows in -- it broke my heart.
The novel is steeped in a succession of naturalist and surreal details -- sensual, beautiful/ugly dissonance and erotic fetish, frequently shocking and supremely memorable. There is loss of dignity and the redemption of self, over and over; a dance.
And the Australian heart is there -- I who have never been to Australia feel that now I have; the Bush is IMPRINTED upon me. Her childhood home, the secret place her father wept... flowers placed in ordinary jam jars to bloom in small private wonder.
The journey of Angela is ultimately an amazing piece of pshychological portraiture. And her deal with the Devil is merely the tip of the iceberg.
This is, to me, a work of literary significance, far transcending the boundaries of genre of the fantastic -- Anna Tambour makes an amazing novel debut.