Friday, November 18, 2016
Hammers on Bone
Author: Cassandra Khaw [Website][Twitter]
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Length: 103 pages
Obtained: Library copy
Why this book?:
I saw something of a blurb, and the private eye who is something extra appealed to me. I enjoy other fantasy-type books like this, so I placed a request for it.
This is a short and therefore brief read. It was the only reading I managed while sick and cloudy-minded. It's a strange story.
The PI, John Persons, is some sort of monster - we discover this quickly - and I gather he's actually some sort of parasite - and alien that is wearing a human body - through less like The Host by Stephanie Meyer or the slug things in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, and more like the alien in Men In Black. I guess? Or this is what I'm picturing.
He's been hired by a child to stop (potentially kill) another monster/human doing something similar. But it turns out there is a much larger - and worse - issue/infection/invasion going on.
And I got all of that, but then the strange part really begins. First there is an interlude, and by the end I had to back up and see if I missed something. From there the strangeness continues through the end, which I also had to back up and re-read to try and understand.
Perhaps some of my confusion and the overall strangeness was due to my cloudiness. I suspect, though, that the bulk is due to this being - as I read in a quip on the back after having finished - a "Lovecraftian PI mystery". I've encountered other "Lovecraftian" books before (such as The Ballad of Black Tom) that also threw me for a loop. What is it about these that apparently draw me in when they are so difficult for me to wrap my head around?
But there is another message that I most definitely did understand, and that is one of abuse. Domestic violence, child abuse, and hints of sexual abuse. And I can understand that as I "watched" in horror, John Persons doesn't grasp the humans of the story sticking around for this abuse and misuse. He's asking how is it that this woman stays for this treatment, especially at the risk of her own children? And I'm left asking how can anyone? Even this fictional PI who has been asked to help by the children.
Anyway... this slim book packs a bit of a wallop.