I’ve been really boring of late (just of late?), mostly because a story has been obsessing me and I’m keeping my head down until I finish it. Also I’m in panic mode because I’m behind on pretty much everything and MileHiCon is next weekend, and I have a million things to do before then, including—most frivolously—finishing my costume.
But! I’m never too busy to pay attention to myself, so of course I have some spamming about A Pretty Mouth to do. There have been some new Goodreads and Amazon reviews, so an enormous thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to read my humble tome and post about it. But two reviews appeared online this week that … I’m just going to let them speak for themselves, okay? Because, truth be told, I’m a bit overwhelmed.
A Pretty Mouth was reviewed over at Seattlepi.com, and wowza. About the title novella, the reviewer says:
…the author mixes anachronistic language with historically accurate detail and strikes a perfect balance. “A Pretty Mouth” takes place at Wadham College, Oxford in the 17th century. The boys who attend the prestigious institution are typical of their age and degree of privilege. Their nefarious adventures will strike a chord with readers fond of stories about school days. But this magical tale is a far cry from the idealized world of Harry Potter and his little chums. These boys woo and taunt and brutalize one another. Their secret experiments are matters of life and death—and sex.
Another amazingly flattering quote, about “The Hour of the Tortoise” (also available in The Book of Cthulhu II):
This darkly romantic story is worthy of a Bronte, except for the naughty bits written by our heroine for her demanding editor. The naughty bits are hugely entertaining, by the way. The language, setting, and characterization are flawless; all contribute to a keen portrait of an intellectual woman undone by patriarchal power. The madwoman in the attic has nothing on our fair Chelone.
It’s so incredible, as a new author, to see people really “getting” what I was trying to do with these stories. Many thanks to S.P. Miskowski and Shock Room Horror!
A Pretty Mouth was also reviewed by Jared over at Pornokitsch.com, and again, I am nigh-speechless:
Molly Tanzer’s A Pretty Mouth (2012) is easily the best collection I’ve read this year and, honestly, for as long as I can remember. Effusive praise, but utterly well-deserved, as A Pretty Mouth combines skillful pastiche, gut-churning horror, atmospheric weirdness and atmospheric poignancy.
And as if that wasn’t enough:
The stories trace the descent of a single family through time, with Ms. Tanzer’s prose changing to incorporate the appropriate Edwardian, Victorian or Gothic style for each tale. My favourite is the Wodehouse/Lovecraft mash-up, but the author does justice to every tale. But, most importantly, despite being a stylistic chameleon, Ms. Tanzer’s prose is insightful, clever and distinctly her own.
Bring me my smelling salts! Seriously. Many, many thanks to Jared and Anne for taking the time to read and review my book. It means a lot to me.
All right! I must stop reading and re-reading my reviews and finish this friggin’ story, finish my costume, finish the book reviews I owe, finish reading a book about the sex lives of the Victorians so I can moderate a certain panel at MileHi, and also clean my house. Tinkerty-tonk!