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Book Review

Book Cover

Feather: Tales of Isolation and Descent


Author: David Rix
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 978 1 908125 07 1
Available 01 October 2011

There are often times when a stranger will touch and change your life, in the case of Feather, she drifts through the world with a woman’s body which holds the wonderment and innocence of a child...

Feather is a new collection of short stories and novellas, written by David Rix, though from the cover it is difficult to discern the author’s name. This may be a logical choice as by the end of the collection, Feather too remains an enigma. Based in a recognisable contemporary Britain, Rix covers his world with a Lovecraftian blanket, providing most of the stories with an intentional feeling of imminent danger.

We are introduced to her in the first story Yellow Eyes, which also introduces Rix’s form of lyrical use of language and strange mix of the macabre and the wondrous. Feather's father forms the basis of many of the people she encounters throughout, full of mystical madness, it is difficult to decide whether they experience a greater form of reality, or have taken one too many steps away from it.

Isolated from the world, under the watchful eye of her paranoid father, she longs to break free of his influence, to experience the world beyond the forest of her captivity.

The Angels has Jimmy Ward, a self-confessed ghost writer, come across Feather on an isolated beach and invites her home. In the intervening period that they spend together she uncovers both the fear that he lives with, hidden in his world cage and the suppressed beauty that he hides within.

While Mark, in Touch Wood, wants to drown his sorrows over his latest relationship failure, he meets Feather. He is also offered a small bottle of drink which has the power to grant his wish. Mark has obviously never heard of being careful what you wish for, in a tale which is part tragedy, part hallucinatory journey.

The remaining stories continue to explore the concept of an unknowable world as we view further stories in, Magpies, The Book of Tides, To Call the Sea and The Whispering Girl all contain stories of people trying to grapple with the inexplicable, although this lack of explanation may well just exist in both the readers mind, as well as Feather’s. her Lack of worldly experience means that she takes all the situations, no matter how strange, at face value. Perhaps that, ultimately, is the message of the book: that experience is often more important than explanation.


Charles Packer

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