A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In
Fourth Estate, $24.95
REVIEW ROBIN BAKER
The Empire of Greater Fallowfields has fallen on hard times.
The emperor has disappeared and the remaining cabinet of ministers spend their days ambling about in the library drinking tea, adjusting the clock daily so sunset is always at 5pm.
The nameless narrator is the head of the imperial orchestra, though he has no musical knowledge whatsoever.
The cabinet bides its time, waiting for the emperor to return, until one day, a plume of smoke is visible on the horizon and seems to be getting closer.To call the book quirky is an understatement. It has a bizarre, dream-like quality, with a strong undercurrent of menace that never quite boils over. Funny and entertaining, yet strangely hollow.
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