Black Juice by Margo Lanagan

Black JuiceOpening Sentence:We all went down to the tar-pit, with mats to spread our weight.
Synopsis:‘And through the silence comes something immense and leisurely, that sheds the filth of heavens from it’s dusty wings…Whatever it is, it comes for all of us, ant or angel, lost child in the forest or lady and lord of manners. Tonight it’s come for my nan, and it gathers her up out of the thing that was her self, up out of her own bones into its dark, dirty, soft, soft breast, unfisting her hands from the front of her nightshirt, laying down her remains, moving her on from us like a storm cloud dragging its rain.’

Margo Lanagan’s stories will delight, shock, amuse and move you to tears with their dazzling imaginative reach, their dark humour, their subtlety, their humanity and depth of feeling.

After all Black Juice runs through us all.

Black Juice is a book of extraordinary stories – breathtakingly fierce and surprisingly tender, they explore the dark and the light, and pit the frailty of humans against implacable forces. This is landmark fiction.
Comments:This is the first I’ve heard of Margo Lanagan, but I feel it won’t be the last. Black Juice is a collection of short stories of the superb quality I have come to expect from the genre’s Australian authors. I fully enjoyed every single one of the stories included in this book.

  • Singing My Sister Down- This is a very sad story about an unusual tribal punishment, and my favourite story in this collection.
  • My Lord’s Man – A story about love, acceptance and misjudgement.
  • Red Nose Day – An interesting twist on the typical clown story.
  • Sweet Pippit – A beautiful story about elephants and their love for their handler. This is my second favourite story in this collection.
  • House of the Many – A story about the fading of our childhood impressions.
  • Wooden Bride – An interesting story about living up to our word.
  • Earthly Uses – A twist on the concept of angels.
  • Perpetual Light – Set in a future world where the air is unbreathable.
  • Yowlinin – Monsters and outcasts of society meet.
  • Rite of Spring – Singing in the season.
  • The Point of Roses – This is my pick for third place in this collection. A boy with great powers influences others.

Margo’s stories are magnificent, engrossing and above all, thought-provoking. My top three stories in this collection are Singing My Sister Down, Sweet Pippit and The Point Of Roses. All three of these stories are worthy of your attention.

Categories: Impressions

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