Monday, December 31, 2012

Sailor Twain: or The Mermaid in the Hudson

by Mark Siegel, 400 pages

Over a year ago, the steamboat Lorelei's well-liked owner disappeared without a trace, leaving his careless, erratic brother Dieudonné in charge, much to the worry and frustration of her conscientious captain, Twain, whose humble, capable hands seem to be the only thing keeping the company above the waterline.  But when he finds a beautiful injured mermaid clinging to the empty, fog-enshrouded deck, Captain Twain's orderly, familiar world begins to slip deeper and deeper into the murky depths of the Hudson River.

This is a lovely, creepy, haunting mystery that wraps the reader in its hazy, otherworldly atmosphere from first page to last and beyond.  The characters are exaggerated and cartoonish figures visually, but their intense, complicated personalities and motives bring a sense of realism that pairs unsettlingly well with what would normally be goofy features to further blur the line between fantasy and reality for the reader as much as the inexplicable events of the story do for the characters.

No comments:

Post a Comment