Saturday, February 20, 2010

Narrative of a Beast's Life

Novelette by Cat Rambo

Originally published in Realms of Fantasy
Anthologized in Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight
Podcastle recording by Paul Jenkins

The reader is a bit dry, but in a way I think appropriate to the framing of this story as 1800s equivalent newspaper account. The one problem with the audio version is that the chapter subtitles can get long and distracting, where one could skim past them in text. They don't add anything other than the style of the period.

Some people seem to really like this story, and I cannot figure out why. The writing is good, but the story is far from it. The narrator is captured in Africa, put on a ship where he is mistreated, sold as a slave to work on a plantation, fails to escape, and reminisces on how slavery is bad. Oh, but he's a centaur, not a black guy, so this isn't a long-winded, unsubtle retelling of a generic slave narrative, really.

Once again, the writing was good, and at the end I did feel sorry for Philip, and I of course agree that slavery is horrific, but this adds nothing to the conversation and really doesn't have much story to tell, which is even more annoying for how long it is. Especially because the centaur being sold into slavery really drew me into the tale, wondering where it was going. "Nowhere" wasn't the answer I was looking for. 1.5 out of 5.

No comments: