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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of a modern classic, 4 Feb 2008
This review is from: Bones of the Moon (Paperback)
This book is the first of the six volume series that John Clute has called the "Answered Prayers" sequence. None of the six require the reading of any others but reading them all in sequence does give rise to understanding of some subtleties and can assist your own postulation of what might be going on underneath the higher levels of story. Bones of the Moon was written before Carroll himself had realised he would link it with further books and in my view had a slightly different feel to most of the other novels or indeed Carroll's post "Answered Prayers" works.

Our protagonist is Cullen James, a lady with a wonderful marriage, husband, child and life who has strange dreams of a country called Rondua, a past trauma and who has two "admirers" in the shape of a boy downstairs and a famous movie director. The dreams become something more when the movie director, Weber Gregston (the character that ultimately links all of Answered Prayers together) starts to also dream of Rondua. Only by working through the dreams and their interrelationship to her waking life can Cullen make herself whole again.

Bones of the Moon uses many of the trademarks of a great Carroll novel, sucking us in with believable characters and great storytelling. With subtle shifts of scene and story we gradually move from the world we know into one decidedly disturbing and different but because of the starting position it remains very believable. There are elements of out and out fantasy in the dream life of Cullen. At times this is overbearing but Carroll understands both that anything can happen in dreams and that dreams do not recognise a master and take you where they want to go. There will be some sequence here that will ring true to you to remind you just how illogical dreams can be, such as when the animal "guides" in the dreams tell the stories "...how the mountains had learned to run, why only rabbits were allowed pencils and when the birds had decided to become all be one colour...".

Bones Of the Moon is not Carroll's best work. As with many male authors, the female lead is not quite authentic. In places it is a little too fantastical and stretched but I am being picky and judging it by the very high standards of the later "Answered Prayers" novels. It is a fascinating tale in its own right and provides interesting background to the later novels. If however, you are a first time Carroll reader I would start with The Land Of Laughs (not part of "Answered Prayers") or Sleeping In Flame (the second "Answered Prayers" book which is where the idea of turning it into a sequence arose and which loses nothing by being read first).
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Bones of the Moon
Bones of the Moon by Jonathan Carroll (Paperback - 3 May 2002)
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