Thursday, September 07, 2006

Miss Alice Merriwether's Long Lost Cakes

Miss Alice Merriwether's Long Lost Cakes, by Barry Aitchison, has to be one of the oddest, yet well written and interesting books I have read in a long time. At the outset, let me say that the only reason this story did not get a 10 rating from me is because of its long use of profanity--a coarse hair in the icing of Miss Alice's delectable cake. This is the second book I have reviewed by the small british based publisher, Velluminous Press, and I continue to be impressed with them. They are turning out interesting and nice looking books from over in the motherland and Miss Alice is among them. To the story: Think small town America meets Tim Burton and you might come close. This story is told with precision and each page begs to be turned! Mr. Aitchison gives the reader just enough enticement from each P.O.V. change to keep you moving through the story at a brisk pace. The narrative is charming and alarmingly accurate to the odd meanderings of small town folk. Mr. Quentin C. Coriander has suddenly arrived in Parcival, USA and though he is an odd sort, they eventually pay him no mind. After a jealous Sheriff Pumpernickel threatens Coriander over one Miss Alice Merriwether and her delicious cakes, the town suddenly finds itself scooped out of planet Earth and hastened away to somewhere unknown. The town must come to grips with the fact that they "aren't in Kansas anymore...oh, silly, they never were," and their isolation inside of an invisible dome--yes, the entire town; land and all. Now they must solve the mystery of where they are, why they are here, and who this odd fellow Quentin C. Coriander really is and his true intentions for the Parcivillians. The humor of Miss Alice resides in the accurate portrayal of its characters and boy are they ever--characters that pull up a book, and try a whopping sugary slice of Miss Alice's Long Lost Cakes.

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