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on 12 August 2004
This book provides an interesting description of blokiness gone terribly wrong, in an exciting story based in a seedy world of antique shops and smoky pubs. The author writes brilliantly about men and in particular through her narrator, Morris, and his weak, immoral behaviour, generally influenced by his friend and antihero Honey. I am writing this review after reading about a 100 pages in less than two hours, and so I have to say that the book reads like a dream. There are amazing flurries of metaphors and alliterations, where the author steered just the right side of pretentiousness. There is also a nice level of humour as the reader delights guiltily in Honey's awfulness as well as some erudite cultural references.
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In this first novel Carter examines the concept of grotesques, People who live in the shadows and twilight zone of their own "Wasteland" questioning their own reality. Living amongst the refuge and rubbish of society these nocturnal creatures are both repulsive yet familiar. The main character "Honeybuzzard" is a modern day "Jekyll and Hyde" cruel and capricious, but instantly recognisable in today's hedonistic society, living for the moment and pursuing his desire at any cost. A character for whom seeing is a complex business hence the permanent dark glasses. There are many Freudian allusions; Honeybuzzard and his distorted vision, Emily represented as a super ego, and Morris as the suffering artist failing to escape from ambiguity. These dark characters attract no empathy from the reader, and death is seen as the ultimate act of the artist.
A Surprisingly realist narrative from the queen of post-modernism. When read as part of a continuum of Carter's work it is interesting to see the development from realist narrative to magic-realist in later texts.
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VINE VOICEon 7 September 2015
Well, a writing teacher once advised that I read a bit of Angela Carter and so twenty years later I dived into this one. A very strange book. We join the story whereby a woman is talking to a man in the pub. She was once a beauty but then suffered at the hands of an attacker and face is now all scared. The chap she is talking to reeks of guilt but the level of guilt we are not too sure about. Then the story follows his relationship to his male friend and it is an odd one at that.

The story for me wasn't that great but I did enjoy her writing and observations. I would read it again in the future to see if I could get any more out of it.
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on 9 January 2013
Typically dark, this slender book is rather haunting, inhabiting the space between reality and fairy tales, a place Carter returned to over and again. As her first novel it feels a little more perfect, to me, than the likes of 'The Passion of New Eve.' In the character of Honeybuzzard she has created someone even more menacing than Uncle Philip in 'The Magic Toyshop;' you can imagine Honey's urbane and dramatic charm being a (honey) trap. Nearly 50 years after its initial publication, 'Shadow Dance' seems every bit as relevant to the modern age and the horror stories on the news of marginalised communities on the edge of accepted society.

Rich with fairytale motifs, there is little redemption here. Powerfully bleak and beautifully written, there is Carter's customary magic between the lines of cruelty and tragedy.
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on 29 April 2005
Carter's first book is an interesting read and I couldn't put it down! It is a story about Morris, Honeybuzzard and Ghislaine set in the Sixties hippie recycling culture, it is also gothic and Ghislaine is Frankenstein's bride when she is not being Dracula's. Honeybuzzard is a powerful predator like a werewolf. An exiting often shocking story! Recommended.
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on 28 October 2013
Not one of her best, but it's still Angela Carter and that counts for something. Florid, atmospheric descriptions and a sense of mystery, but not on par with The Passion of New Eve or Nights at the Circus.
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on 22 December 2008
Gorgeous writing and macabre characters proliferate in this novel which is admittedly not to everyone's taste. By Carter using archetypes of fiction to create more fiction, the events and characters come to life vividly in the readers mind. They feel real, these are the people we see from day to day, people we might be wary of. And, as it turns out in most stories these people are the stuff from which our nightmares are created. Recommended.
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on 29 November 2014
different to any book I have read , enjoyed it very much
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on 8 April 2015
super book as described.
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on 6 October 2009
My favourite book, had to order another copy as I lent mine out.

Brand New. Swiftly delivered.

Thank you.
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