Little Hands Clapping

Little Hands Clapping Little Hands Clapping by Dan Rhodes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was waiting to get my hands on this novel for ages, ie, when I first read about it sometime last year. I had a very nice surprise when I collected my copy at Kino. It cost ten pounds but it was a hardback, and with 20% off, a great bargain, as well.

I love reading ebooks, but if this book came out as an ebook and were selling at the same price at this hardback, I'd certain opt for the latter. There is nothing like holding a hardback, when you can open the book flat and not crack the spine, which happens to all paperbacks, including the trade versions.

No matter how great a hardback feels in your hands, it is a waste of your cash if the story sucks. Luckily the story of an old man taking care of a museum of exhibitions of various methods of suicide is absorbing - and hilarious - reading.

The premise makes it sounds as if this is a macabre story. It is and it isn't. It is because Rhodes paints the old man in such creepy a way. He has grey fingers, and he stares ahead at nothing while at work. He has the ability to fall asleep standing or sitting upright. He doesn't seem to eat anything but hard cheese for his meals - and spiders. Every time someone sneeks into the museum to commit suicide, always, a spider creeps into his opened mouth while he's sleeping. He traps it and crunches it and swallows it down.

Another creepy character is the doctor the old man calls after he discovers a dead body. The doctor never reports the incident nor delivers the body to the hospital or the morgue, but bundles it into his car, takes it back to his house and cuts it up. He eats pieces from them as steaks, even feeding his dog Hans certain bits he himself has an aversion to eating.

And these -  a penis and a scotum - Hans coughs out one day while the doctor is walking him. A patients the doctor meets on this walk discovers them. She then tells her husband, who then tells the local policeman, who then goes after the doctor.

In the middle of all this is also a love story, of a beautiful girl and a beautiful boy, who are meant for each other. When things go very well for the boy and not so for the girl when they move to the city, the girl despairs and attempts to do herself in in the museum.

Some might call this book a black comedy, because the characters are dark but so funny as well.

View all my reviews >>


Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.