Joy Antony Antony itibaren Metzingen, Almanya
I ordered this from Amazon "because it was there". I couldn't believe that even Gillian Bradshaw could pull this one off, but she does, brilliantly. It's a medieval romance based on the Lai de Bisclavret, in which a young and beautiful girl marries a bold and handsome knight, and then discovers he's a werewolf. In Bradshaw's version, the horrified Eline persuades a former lover to snatch her husband Tiarnan's clothes from their hiding place while he is prowling the forest, so that he is condemned to remain a wolf instead of returning to his human form. In return the lover, a useless, conceited, and penniless knight called Alain, gets the girl and Tiarnan's estates. Of course in the end justice is done, after various trials and tribulations. So for once the werewolf is good and his opponents are bad. Bradshaw integrates the magical parts of the story marvellously well into a reasonably realistic background of feudalism, and a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the conventions of courtly love. Her portrayal of an 11th-century French village and its inhabitants knocks spots off Joanne Harris's nauseating Chocolat. And she's particularly good at recounting the experience of being a human soul in a wolf's body, and on the final transformation of wolf into human she is superb: About noon, Isengrim suddenly sat up straight. Everything inside himself had turned like a weather vane in a gust of wind, pointing in a different direction, realigning itself [...] Instantly, as though his nose had been struck blind, that scent and all the scents vanished; the sounds of the lodge went dead, as though the whole world were a harp string muffled suddenly with a block of wood. But inside, the world of words, so long drowned, rose all at once shining from the ocean of sense. A really good read -- the sort you stay up late to finish. It's entertainment, not great art, but I can't recommend her enough.