This is the first time I’ve read any of Lanagan’s work, and I’m impressed by the stories in this collection. They’re deceptively simple, it’s easy to dip in and read two or three in a go, but each one manages to somehow encapsulate a whole new world, strange places where clowns are the ruling class (“Red Nose Day”) or where feral “angels” give gifts to the family of the dying in exchange for cheese (“Earthly Uses”). Lanagan shows us these worlds, too, through the eyes of excellently realised characters, standouts being “Wooden Bride”‘s determined titular heroine, and the ‘thick boy’ of “Rite of Spring”, desperate not to let his mother down in performing a task that he was always told he wasn’t good enough for.
I would definately recommend this collection.
Week two’s selection: Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest