Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al (livredor) wrote,
Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al

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Book: Nine Hundred Grandmothers

Author: RA Lafferty

Details: (c) 1970 RA Lafferty; Pub 1975 Dobson Books Ltd; ISBN 0-234-77286-7

Verdict: Nine Hundred Grandmothers is quirky and fun on the whole; some stories are better than others.

Reasons for reading it: lethargic_man recommended it to me.

How it came into my hands: lethargic_man lent it to me.

Nine Hundred Grandmothers is a collection of rather bizarre short stories; in fact, scenarios would be almost a better word, because not all that much happens in most of them. The ideas behind many of the scenarios are very wacky, and quite often in a cute way. The characterisation is done with an almost sly sense of humour, gently mocking both rednecks and pompous intellectuals trying to confuse the layman by using too many long words. I was rather taken with the recurring theme of children who speak like adults, and the way a lot of the stories are based on the idea that childish magic actually works.

Thus we frustrate Charlemagne is a rather charming take on the old timetravel chestnuts; Narrow Valley is a fun little story; and I liked the 'what-if' behind Slow Tuesday Night. I think the real standouts were Land of the Great Horses, which I found very fun, and Through other eyes, which is a sort of Being John Malkovich type set up, but rather beautifully written, and thought-provoking and touching as well as silly.

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