Displaying items by tag: max scratchmann

Authors Writing on Books
The Palace of Curiosities – reviewed by Max Scratchmann

Much as I want to like all of these books, there are, I'm afraid, a lot of fairly dull bodice-rippers and penny-dreadfuls lurking beneath the stunning cover art on the slew of mock-Victorian novels currently on the market, so it was with great joy that I discovered Rosie Garland's noir tale of life in a nineteenth-century freak show – The Palace of Curiosities.

Enticed by the gothic delicacy of cover art and then seduced by the Angela Carter comparison from Jenny Murray on the flyleaf, I delved into this novel with a mixture of anticipation and cautious scepticism – treating the alluring enticements to enter as nothing more than the world-weary siren call of an over zealous marketing man. But, miraculously, I was not disappointed this time, and though the wonderful Ms Garland, in fact, bears little resemblance to Angela Carter – she's far too original a voice to be a copy of anybody – The Palace of Curiosities is a dark and evocative exploration of the underbelly of Victorian society and a magic-realist journey through the fair grounds and freak shows that so fascinate this reviewer as a visual artist.

The novel follows the converging path of two outsiders, Eve the Lion Girl and Abel the Flayed Man – also known as Mr Lazarus – and takes us on an atmospheric journey that veers in and out of the (believable) supernatural and even manages a happy ending without ever once delving into sentimentality or sugary cliché. The writing is rich and verging on the poetic, and the characters are well-rounded and believable – Eve's story being particularly strong with a heady erotic undercurrent running throughout.

I very seldom resort to overblown kill-to-obtain-this-book soundbites, but this novel is a definite must-read. Highly recommended.

Max Scratchmann

Book: THE PALACE OF CURIOSITIES

Author: Rosie Garland

Publisher: HarperCollins

Click to go to Steve Savage's review site

Published in News
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 14:26

16.2.2018 - Poetry Circus, Edinburgh

POETRY CIRCUS: BROKEN HEARTS

Friday 16 February
The Bongo Club
66 Cowgate
Edinburgh EH1 1JX

19:00-22:00 £4 (EB) / £5

For everyone who’s ever been in love, fallen out of love or had their heart broken on St Valentine’s day, Poetry Circus are back with Broken Hearts, a sumptuous evening of stunning spoken word cabaret featuring special guest poets Rosie Garland, Elizabeth McGeown, Elise Hadgraft & Catherine Wilson plus Poetry Circus regulars Matt MacDonald, Lloyd Robinson & Suky Goodfellow, and, of course, a stellar supporting cast of stupendous emerging talent. Songs from Rachel Kelly and performance from Andromada Mystic and Georgia Dunn.

http://www.thebongoclub.co.uk/event/poetry-circus-broken-hearts/

Published in Gig List
Sunday, 02 July 2017 10:50

10.8.2017 - FREAK Circus, Edinburgh Fringe

FREAK Circus Poetry Bordello

Woodland Creatures, Venue 282
260-262 Leith Walk,
Edinburgh,
EH6 5EL

8-9pm

One show ONLY for FREAK Circus at The Fringe in 2017! Get ready for a night of poetic passion and pulsating word-power as FREAK Circus, the resident poetry promoters at Woodland Creatures, present a programme of Britain’s finest spoken word artists performing their most personal and revealing work. Funny, sexy, emotional and always mind-blowingly entertaining, the FREAK Circus Poetry Bordello is an evening that you’ll remember for a long time to come.

Featuring Rosie Garland,
Hannah Raymond-Cox, Suky Goodfellow, Andromada Mystic, Carla Woodburn, Rachel Plummer, Rebecca Monks & Max Scratchmann

https://tickets.edfringe.com/venues/woodland-creatures

Published in Gig List

FREAK Circus Poetry Bordello

Venue: Woodland Creatures
260-262 Leith Walk,
Edinburgh EH6 5EL

Fringe Venue number 282

Time & date - Wednesday 10th August
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Get ready for a night of poetic passion and pulsating word-power as FREAK Circus, the resident poetry promoters at Woodland Creatures, present a programme of Britain's finest spoken word artists performing their most personal and revealing work. Funny, sexy, emotional and always mind-blowingly entertaining, the FREAK Circus Poetry Bordello is an evening that you'll remember for a long time to come.

Special Free Fringe guest – Rosie Garland on Weds 10th August!

https://tickets.edfringe.com/venues/woodland-creatures

Published in Gig List

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