|Submitted by Archren |
(Mar 07, 2006)
This book is fantasy of the type sometimes sub-categorized as “magic realism.” Jack Limekiller is a former Canadian, who has moved to the small country of British Hidalgo in Central America for a change of scenery (to a scene that involves no snow). He stars in a series of short stories that were written between 1976 and 1993. The best part of all of these stories is the atmosphere, the way that Davidson catches the dialect of the people and the feeling of the land, down to the heat and wind and mosquitoes. Davidson himself lived in the country that would become Belize for quite some time, so truly knows whereof he speaks.
These stories barely have plots, and what plots they do have mostly involve ghost stories of some nature. However there isn’t much sense of horror or mortal peril. They are almost treated as everyday or only slightly out-of-the-ordinary occurances. They seem incidental somehow to the overall flow of the stories, which deal with Limekiller trying to make a living and get some loving.
The writing style of the stories can best be described as stream-of-consciousness, which I personally can only take in small doses. And if you have trouble reading patois, that might cause you some trouble. However, the stories and the characters really grew on me over time. I found all the stories interesting, and I also enjoyed the inclusion of some non-fiction that Davidson wrote about Belize from when he lived there. The introductory material was informative, but was the hardest part of the whole book to slog through (introductions by Grania Davis, Lucius Shepard and Peter S. Beagle) and you can skip them if you’d like.
Overall, this is not the sort of thing that I usually read, but I really came to enjoy it.