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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, great characterisation, a book for book lovers
This is a great fantasy book but the fantasy element isnt overplayed, I could best describe the fantasy element as a fairy tale for adults but like I say this in many ways doesnt take centre stage in the story telling.

There is some very, very excellent characterisation in this novel, its a great book of human relations with lots of literary musings on...
Published on 19 Feb 2009 by Lark

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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but not a great book
Like many other titles in the Fantasy Masterworks series, I was left wondering how this book is acclaimed as a 'Masterwork'. Don't get me wrong - it's a good book, but never approaches the literary heights which I would expect from a series which supposedly picks the best fantasy works from the last 100 years.
This shouldn't be taken as a "don't buy" recommendation...
Published on 22 May 2002


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, great characterisation, a book for book lovers, 19 Feb 2009
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Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is a great fantasy book but the fantasy element isnt overplayed, I could best describe the fantasy element as a fairy tale for adults but like I say this in many ways doesnt take centre stage in the story telling.

There is some very, very excellent characterisation in this novel, its a great book of human relations with lots of literary musings on relationships, reflection on feelings, thoughts and action, not least of which are living in the shadow of the great achievements of others, writing and a great love story.

The central male character is anything but heroic, in fact he's pretty weak and surrounded by stronger women, however you dont ever lose sympathy for him and this works well when some pretty nuanced menace and terror creeps into the plotline.

I have to say that there is a real punch in the finish, straight-up human horror, gut wrenching in its simplicity and you share the mix of emotions that it throws up for the characters. However the book doesnt end there, from the shock and awe it progresses to an epilogue which is as uplifting as it is perfect in its economy of words.

I found this book really easy reading, I was sorry when it came to a finish and it was time to say goodbye to the characters, and I'd recommend it to any fans of mind bending fiction like Philip K. Dick's novels, specifically Time Out of Joint or The Cosmic Puppets. It's also a major book for book lovers as the story begins with the meeting of too total bibliophiles. Excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Jonathan Carroll's books dont seem to be that popular in the English speaking world - I find it amusing that Easter Europe on the other hand, is in actual love with his work.

This sttory is simply magical, good read, intresting characters. you will not be able to put it down.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Land Of Laughs, 19 May 2006
This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is the only Jonathon Carrol book I've read and I quite enjoyed it. The story is original and entertaining and will keep you guessing as to what is going to happen. It's a hard one to explain without giving the plot away ! The characters are well portrayed and this allows you to get emotionally involved as the story unfolds. Some people might find the plot a little unbalanced in terms of normality and fantasy but I thought it made the book a more interesting read and less predictable. Don't be put off by constant comparisons to Stephen King, it's a much better book than that ! It's not a book of deep literature but neither is it shallow, it's the kind of book that would probably make a great film !
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bona-Fido Fantasy Classic, 13 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
A bad pun (read it to find out why) for a great book- Jonathan Carroll's first novel starts off as sweetly strange and ends up scary and shocking. The central idea - revealed about two thirds of the way through, has been plagiarised a few times now by film and TV episode writers, so it doesn't feel quite as original as it must have done back in 1975 when the book was first published. Nevertheless this is a must-read classic of the horror / fantasy genre. Carroll even manages to pull off a very satisfying frisson with his last couple of sentences. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Want me to hold your hat for you kiddo?", 16 April 2014
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
I'm not enamoured of fantasy but this began with a realistic edge as the story of Thomas, an English teacher who is enraptured by the work of a Saint Expury sound-alike, Marshall France, whose fantasy works have haunted his childhood. He travels with a kookie friend called Saxony, to Galen, the small town in where Marshall France was born. He wants to write a biography of France's life, and although he has been warned that France's daughter Anna is hostile to such biographer wannabes, he is surprised to find himself welcomed and slowly drawn into the life of the town. Anna, France's attractive daughter, encourages him, and he gradually learns that - well, I'd better not say what happens after that. The result of his experiences begin to tie him inexorably to the work he is producing. Bull terriers feature a lot and so does sexual activitiy, first with Saxony, and then with Anna, though there is little in the way of erotic description.

The plot is a wonder, though I feel you have to like the fantasy genre to get the full impact out of this seductive and adventurous book. As the novel progresses it becomes subtley more attractive as a read. Though it does test one's ability to suspend disbelief. It's a book that you might start out dismissing and then slowly succumb as the events suck you into the story. I ended by enjoying it enormously. Only 241 pages, and well worth your time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bargin book, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Book arrived really quickly,in minimal packaging. Great condition. Very happy with my purchase. It's a cracking story too. It's great to be able to save then enjoy ..
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Believe the Unbelievable, 16 May 2007
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Mr. John Frank Herbert (Greenwich, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
When you read Jonathan Carroll you never know who or what is going to turn up next.

It's fairly certain to be a weird and wonderful journey, and here again the writing is so clever that the unbelievable becomes believable.

A schoolteacher finds himself travelling to the small town of Galen in order to get the background for the life story of a writer of children's books, to write his biography.

Both humans and animals are not quite as they appear - GO GET IT!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now, 10 Mar 2008
By 
Marc Lyth (Salford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This is one of the greatest debut novels I've ever read. As someone else has said in another review, the central idea here has been filched several times since but it's never been used as well as it is here.

Jonathan Carroll is a writer to treasure and this, despite being his first novel, is right up there with the best he's ever written.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but not a great book, 22 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
Like many other titles in the Fantasy Masterworks series, I was left wondering how this book is acclaimed as a 'Masterwork'. Don't get me wrong - it's a good book, but never approaches the literary heights which I would expect from a series which supposedly picks the best fantasy works from the last 100 years.
This shouldn't be taken as a "don't buy" recommendation. I enjoyed it. The plot is a Stephen King-esque story about weird goings-on in small-town America (even down to the main character being a writer / English teacher, a favourite King device). There's little to suggest that this is a fantasy novel of any kind until the last third of the book, which makes the climax all the more effective.
Buy it, but don't expect a masterwork.
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The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
The Land Of Laughs (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) by Jonathan Carroll (Paperback - 14 Sep 2000)
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