16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
And now for something completely different ...,
This review is from: Snake Ropes (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)"Snake Ropes" is hard to untangle, like the knots of mussed hair, the root systems found underground, or unkempt sewing threads/knitting yarns in the bottom of a bag. At first, it's hard to follow the rhythm, the language of the inhabitants, and the overall writing style employed in the book, but it just won't let you go, or leave you once you've finished.
I struggled with the opening pages, as the setting felt somewhat familiar, but I could not pin it down. Not surprising, given the island is off the edge of the map. Jess Richards has created a place with it's own dialect, history, folklore and myths so unique, but with such familiarity it's hard to get your bearings - at first. I felt very confused for quite a while, even when the second chapter gave voice to an entirely new main character, who initially had a more familiar voice. At times, reading "Snake Ropes" felt like reading someone's incoherent thoughts: someone in a fever; someone dreaming; someone a little off-kilter perhaps. At other points, there are beautiful little fairytales, folklore or myth, and throughout runs the mystery of stolen boys.
I have been reading for 38 years now, though my range in materials has not been the broadest, it was not the narrowest either, and I've not read all the "greats", but I have never encountered a style like that of Jess Richards; it is entirely unique to me. I am now somewhat fearful of Jess Richards' writing, because from those jumbles, tangles and twists of words on the page, a magic wafted up, wove around me and bound me to that island, it's inhabitants and visitors, and I was not released until the conclusion, and this despite feeling lost, confused, and very uncomfortable, almost unhappy at the start. That takes skill. It's an art, too. "Snake Ropes" is a stand alone book for me; I've not been so affected by an author ever before; it's an experience I won't soon forget.
I highly recommend it; just for the experience alone.
Sile "Listen to audio books on the commute to, and from work, and this makes up the bulk of my fictional books, as I read a lot of non-fiction."
Location: Kent, England
Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,844