January 12, 2011

Review: Little Hands Clapping!

Little Hands Clapping - Dan Rhodes - Another Fnac-book I picked up on my trip to Portugal and again picked solely on the strength of the title and the cover. For all those self-publishing authors out there, never underestimate the power of the title and the cover! It's the calling card for your book, both online and offline.

What is it about?

Little Hands Clapping is as weird and funny as the title makes you suspect. We meet the Old Man who lives above a bizarre German museum, showing the various ways in which people commit suicide. He eats crackers in the morning and spiders in his sleep. He becomes strangely acquainted with the village doctor who has a terrible hobby all his own and needs the help of the Old Man in fulfilling this.
Parallel to this storyline is the story of two young lovers (from Portugal, oh the coincidence!) who loose each other when moving out into the real world. The young girl is sent into a whirlpool of depression and suicidal thoughts and finally ends up in the museum of the Old Man. The final outcome of both story lines is written with such wit I re-read it instantly.

So, is it any good?

Rhodes combines sad romance and melancholy with horror and comedy and does so with fervor. Never the writing wavers, it stands like a brick house, solid as a rock. Many of the jokes will send you hiccuping for the toilet and more than once I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. The larger-than-life characters all seem to have a wonderful air of innocence around them, even the Old Man, which somehow makes them real again, despite the obvious comical basis of the book. Although the story feels more like a short story than a novel, it still counts over 300 pages, so that says something for the pace of the story which is fast. Not a word too many.

Dan Rhodes Blog

Other Reviews - Floating Robes' Read and Reading!

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