Monday, August 18, 2008

A review by Ray Olson in Booklist

Boy in Darkness and Other Stories has now been reviewed in Booklist
"This compelling new edition of artist-writer Peake's short fiction is decorated with 40 drawings and paintings in both Peake's principal manners: gorgeously romantic, as in the figureless landscape here, and grotesquely energetic, as in the illustrative figure drawings that fit the stories so well, whether or not conceived to do so. Reproduced in color, even when that color is only that of the paper on which an image is drawn, these add to the body of readily available work by an illustrator of the caliber of Goya, Cruickshank, Tenniel, Daumier, Dore, and Cocteau.
Still, don't just look at the pictures. Read the long title story, in particular, to enjoy one of the most sensuous and mysterious English writers, a fantasist so concerned with color, sound, and light that they become actors in the fiction. Does anybody else write like this and so well? The other five short pieces, though often as much literary essay a la Lamb as story, alloy the burnished strangeness of Peake at his best with subtle, rather dour humor.


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