Dreams of shreds and tatters, by Amanda Downum

Dreams of shreds and tatters Book Cover Dreams of shreds and tatters
Amanda Downum
Horror, Fantasy
12 May 2015

The blurb said "Lovecraftian urban fantasy", and the cover is beautiful. More than enough for me to choose to spend time with a book.   However...

Dreams of shreds and tatters didn't really work for me.  It doesn't have a lot of plot, but what little there is, begins and ends with a painting.  This story is, in many ways, more like a painting than a novel.  It has, um,  /interesting brushwork,  and beautiful colours, and threatening shapes half-hidden in the dark.  It does a very good job of giving you thoughts about things that could be hiding in the dark.   But... it's unmoving.  It's still.

And I don't normally read novels when I want the kind of experience I'd rather have from visual art.

I'm not sure if the text does itself any favours by explicitly quoting Portishead lyrics, which are like batsignals beamed directly into the brain of anyone who was a mopey mop over a decade ago, because it makes it too easy to say "Yes, this book is just... like that Portishead album."   A drizzle of "The crow"-feelings in there, too.

This is a pretty short read and I'm sure it will appeal to someone in the mood for lyrical weird (is this a separate genre tag, yet? Lyrical weird?) -  It was just not right for me.  It could have worked if I got the chance to know the characters better, if there was, um, a story in the foreground,  but this, again, is me wishing for a completely different book than the one at hand.

I might recommend it to some of those people who got obsessed with The king in yellow while watching True Detective.  Or someone who's curious to know what it would look like if  Kadrey's Sandman slim and Cat Valente's Palimpsest hooked up and had a book baby.

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