Lena’s parents gave up everything to help support her through cancer. But now all she wants to do is fly… what will the cost be?
I really loved this mix of circus performers and vampires. It was fun and exciting. And you constantly hoped for the best where Lena was concerned. Her battle for health and happiness was beautiful, and for me, this story became less about vampires and more about finding your happily ever after.
It was kind of sad that Lena’s happily ever after really, really didn’t involve her parents. After all, they are beautifully kind and supportive. Although, I suppose that we all find a happily ever after that really doesn’t involve our parents…
I always love stories by Delia Sherman. This one was no exception and I absolutely adored this tale. I love the imagery of the circus and a trapeze artist. The cats and the bats. Everything worked so beautifully and seamlessly together. Leaving me with a huge, happy grin on my face.
Title: King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree Author: Elizabeth Bear In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect) My Bookshelves:Circus, Ghosts, Urban fantasy Dates read: 26th December 2019 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Year: 2011 5th sentence, 74th page: Following the line of his motion, I realized suddenly that there was an awful lot of ink on my arm.
He followed the ghost to the Bottle Tree. Then he started to lose his memory. How will they get it back?
I think that one of my greatest fears about growing old is the idea of forgetting everything that I know. There is a history of dementia in my family, so it’s a particularly scary thought for me. Which kind of made this story quite intense and almost terrifying. After all, it’s about forgetting parts of yourself that you don’t even know your forgetting. Sounds a little too familiar if you ask me.
I loved that this story’s lead was actually a city. In a weird, metaphysical way. Or a deity of the city, that’s a huge conversation for another day. But the idea was still brilliant. It made me wonder what beings would be created by my cities and towns. What they would forget with the passage of time. And how their personalities would change.
Probably the thing that I loved most about this story though was the interconnection between the circus, death and ghosts. It’s a surprising mix and not one that I would have thought of for myself. Yet, it was so blatantly obvious with a backdrop of LA once you read it. Such a great adventure!
Gus grew up on the trains, travelling around with his circus family. When he gets kidnapped, his unusal upbringing comes to his aid.
Growing up, I always wanted to be part of the circus. There
was something that just seemed so romantic and worldly about being a part of
such a family that I couldn’t help but imagine how fun and adventurous my story
would be. As an adult, I kind of realise that it’s probably not that romantic
and perfect. And I kind of like the upbringing and life that I’ve had, but this
short story still manages to encompass some of that fun and intrigue that drew
me in as a young child.
You would expect a circus child to be one that could do
tricks, be like a strong man and just be generally quirky. The last thing in
the world that you would expect would be for such a child to be a nerdy little
book worm who wears glasses. Which, considering this short story is in a
collection of trickster tales, worked perfectly. As did the idea that his
unique upbringing is not only what gets him in trouble, but also what gets him
out of it.
There are a few people in my life who are a little obsessed
with trains, and the entire time I was reading this tale, I mostly thought of
them. And clowns. But I hate clowns, so I focused on the trains aspect. I
really enjoy the idea of travelling over country on a train and this helped to
further romanticise that idea. I just won’t be as confident as Gus was during
So I decided at the beginning of this week that I would start writing a weekly blog about, well… anything that has come to mind during the week. Partly it’s for part of my Masters subject (Online Writing), but it’s also just because I need to work on writing more often.
So welcome to the new randomness that is my recapture of the week. I do apologise, because this one’s a little loopy… I’ve just finished a 40 hour work week, I’m miles behind in study (as usual), and I have found myself thinking again and again and again this week that I was going to quit and join the circus. Not entirely sure why, but I’m definitely feeling a little loopy.
I also decided to start a few reading challenges this week. Which is exciting, because I always like a good excuse to read a great book….