A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In the town of Kingdom Come, Thomas cares for his brothers, conjoined triplets, and for the mill, the town's only source of income. Who's kicking all the dogs? What happened to Thomas' family?
A Choir of Ill Children is a modern Southern Gothic tale, a slice in Thomas' bizarre life. To be honest, I'm not precisely sure what this was supposed to be. It reads like a collaboration between Flannery O'Connor and Donald Ray Pollock. There is a bleakness to the tale and a lot of strange shit happens. Some parts feel quite dreamlike and I'm not sure which ones actually happened.
I'm not even sure how to describe the plot. Thomas wanders from one encounter to the next and very little ever gets resolved. However, the encounters themselves are well-written and captivating. Someone's kicking all the dogs. There is lots of sex and violence, and mystery mute woman who is either eleven years old or twenty. There are witches, a preacher that speaks in tongues, and the Holy Order of the Flying Wallendas. And much more. Some things are best experiences for yourself.
As I said before, I thought the writing was great and Piccirilli's depictions of the grotesque are very well done. There are some scenes that will stick with me for a long time. Hell, I enjoyed the shit out of it despite being lost in the swamp a few times as to what was actually happening.
Overall, I liked this book and I'll be tracking down more of Tom Piccirilli's work. I enjoyed it even if I'm not sure what the hell actually happened. Three out of five stars.
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