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Customer Review

on 25 September 2010
If you are literal minded and like a story to have a beginning, middle and end (and in that order), I would give this a miss.

The story, which is set roughly in the time of the War of the Three Kingdoms (often known, wrongly, as the English Civil War) and the Restoration, although it moves backwards and forwards through time, is ostensibly about the gargantuan dog woman's life and the quest of her adopted son, Jordan, for the twelfth of the dancing princesses. Really, it is more about the power of the mind to transcend the mundane, about the contradictions of life and love, and of the need to keep searching, even if you don't know what for.

There are a few comic scenes, the dog woman's encounters with men for example, and some more thought provoking ones. I thought that the novel was at its weakest when it was being preachy, for example when the modern (but much thinner) version of the dog woman is dreaming about what she will do about bankers and generals (not that I disagree with her, it's just that it didn't sit well with the tone of the book, the dog woman for example is much less interested in politics, having a simple faith in royalty).

The changes in perspective, and the zany digressions told in a matter-of-fact way make this a bit of a hallucinatory novel. I thought that it was both fun and thought provoking, and well worth a read.
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