Today I’d like to give you a gift. No, unfortunately it’s not the key to a beachside condo or an all-expenses paid ticket to paradise. I might give me one of those if I had the money for it, but most likely I’d save it for my son’s college costs.
I’m not even going to be so tasteless as to give you the gift of my own book(s) for free, although there are plenty of those floating around, and one that’s won an award. You’re free to download any of those. Enough tangents.
This is The Goods, so what I’m giving you is the gift of knowledge, and here it is: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.
I had joyous convulsions of the imagination reading this little treat, which I picked up for five bucks (five thousand won actually, which is more or less the same). This is the sort of book that instantly makes you feel like your own writing is vastly inferior, while at the same time putting rocket boosters on your imagination and inspiration, and flinging it across the galaxies of wonder and timeless childlike enjoyment you just can’t get from adult fiction (except some Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman). It was like the first time I watched the original Star Wars trilogy… or the tenth. Any time before Episode One, anyway.
Everything about this book evokes the sort of glee you’d imagine if you went to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and threw in several scoops of Willow, Labyrinth, the Chronicles of Narnia, and a couple of spoonfuls of Alice in Wonderland, then threw them in a river of chocolate and put it all in a blender. Add a couple teaspoons of Dr. Seuss just for out-of-left-field twisties. And some whipped cream on top.
And if you’re thinking ‘But Brent, you’ve just described possibly the best thing that has ever been and could ever be, I mean, those are all my childhood favorites’ then you need to rush out right now and buy this book. Even if you didn’t just say or think that, you need this book.
I will also settle for ‘jump online and purchase the ebook version’ or ‘order online and have it sent to me, plus express shipping.’
If you forget about this book and this blog post and go throughout your life without having read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland etc. etc. then you are doing yourself a disservice. I don’t care if you’re eight or eighty. Get this book and read it and enhance your life.
Okay, you want some concrete examples.
1- before entering the main city in fairyland, Pandemonium, (in order to steal the Spoon that had been stolen from the witches who stir to see the future), the main character September finds the House Without Warning, where Lye, a golem made entirely out of soap bits and shavings and leavings, refreshes her courage, her luck, and her wishes.
‘When you are born,’ the golem said softly, ‘your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk and crusty things like dirt and fear and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like.’
(from p. 80-81)
2- September receives a smoking jacket from the Green Wind before her journey through fairy customs, a smoking jacket that’s been around long enough to have learned some manners. It obliges her by puffing up and shrinking down to September’s size.
3- September’s main buddy throughout her journey through fairyland is a wyvern named A-through-L, who is half wyvern and half library, more of a wyverary than a wyvern, (his father had given him the encyclopedia books for his education, A-through-L, of course, which means he’s quite knowledgable about plenty of things, as long as they’re from the first half of the alphabet.
I won’t even go into further detail about the wild pack of velocipedes, the land of Always Autumn, the sprigging alchemists who live there, talking sandals, sleeping blue lions, a city made out of fabric, a city made out of baked goods, a man whose body is all map, or the Marquess (who is just slightly like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, but mostly not).
Fact is, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It will enrich your life, promise.