Max Porter’s debut novel, ‘Grief Is The Thing With Feathers’, was beautiful and brilliant but had me crying for hours. In a similar vein, ‘Lanny’, was all mischief, myth and mind bending poetry.
In ‘Lanny’, Max Porter marries the profound and the pettiness of a small rural English village by weaving folklore and the mundane through the old soul of a child. It is a firework display on a dark night with explosions of literary finesse. Max Porter is a genius with his craft and his ability to depict vulnerability. It is surreal, raw, timeless, savage and human.
Despite the initial welcome word play and distraction, I wouldn’t wish to read this again. The warped passages of poetry were charming at first, but the oohs and ahhhs eventually zipped my mouth into a tight and unforgiving full stop. Also, Lanny’s mum is a c—t for stabbing the hedgehog.
Porter’s haunting prose mirrors the dichotomy that life is all too much, yet never enough, when not all of us wish to grapple with such truths at some ungodly hour in the night while reading and reflecting, or busying ourselves by ignoring our own bloody business. I’m probably going to have to read David Sedaris now to feel normal again. Or perhaps watch some cartoons….
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