LOUD AND DISCLAIMY: Margo and I are Friends On the Internet and this book showed up at my house FOR FREE and is it ever a pretty fish.
So this review is cut on the bias, if you catch my drift. #sewingpuns
I tend to avoid short story collections because I want. I want trilogies and 12-book serieses that become 14-book serieses when the original author dies and I want spin-off novels. I want LENGTH and GIRTH and LONG DRAGGY BITS IN THE MIDDLE THAT JUST TAKE UP SPACE.
Ok, not that last thing. But short stories are such teases, especially when they’re this good. I mean, I get super into them and then all of a sudden they end and but what is she DOING in that dresser? Inquiring minds want to know.
But what they lack in length THESE stories make up for in DEPTH. It’s just all significant detail here and evocative image there. If I were into Dr Who I would make a TARDIS joke about them being bigger on the inside than the outside, but that is LITERALLY the only thing I know about Dr Who and I’m afraid to embarrass myself online.
And you have to pay attention because you’re thrown right into the middle of things, and no one is going to be lovingly described in detail to you, from their dimples to their shoes to their relationship with the narrator. Francine Pascal this is not. And that’s what sort of blows your mind, that she hasn’t really TOLD you, but somehow you’ve figured it out, and it’s only been, like, three pages.
It’s Margo Lanagan, so it’s always a little weird. A little bit of teenage regrets plus a little bit this guy might be an alien. Children lured from their homes by some Pied Piper-ish light-people. That sort of thing. But not magical realism, that stuff is bullshit. This is FANTASY with RULES and things. Magical realism, I hate you so much.
Cracklescape‘s only flaw is, I mean really, 104 pages? That is a MORSEL of cheese, and I am a hungry mouse.