Well folks, here it is. I have read the first book in my huge pile of books to read that I own (in truth I had just finished it before yesterday's post) and it will mark my first book review. Just as a minor warning, there will be minor spoilers within this review.
TITLE: The Tale Of Raw Head & Bloody Bones
AUTHOR: Jack Wolf
PUBLISHER: Chatto & Windus
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Horror, Gothic, Adult
RATING: 5/5 Stars
The year is 1750.
Tristan Hart, precociously talented student of medicine practicing under the legendary Dr William Hunter. His obsession is the nature of pain and preventing it; the relationship between mind and matter and the existence of God. A product of the Age of Enlightenment, he is a rational man on a quest to cut through darkness and superstition with the brilliant blade of science.
Tristan Hart, madman and deviant. His obsession is the nature of pain and causing it. A product of an age of faeries and goblins, gnomes and shape-shifting gypsies, he is on a quest to arouse the perfect scream and slay the demon Raw Head who torments his dark days and long nights.
Troubled visionary, twisted genius, loving sadist. What is real and what imagined in Tristan Hart's beautiful, brutal, complex world?
- The detail! The book is set in the mid to late 1700s, and Wolf knows perfectly how to write it, well aware of all historical, political and social context of the time period. The writing style chosen by Wolf never wavers and he is consistent in his knowledge of the book's world.
- I really enjoyed every character. I found Tristan to be intriguing, complex, and at times quite funny. The other characters too were memorable in my mind and I did not particularly dislike any of them.The dynamic between Tristan and Katherine Montague came as a bit of a shock, as I was not expecting any form of romance. I felt her presence to be entirely necessary to the plot line however, and I took to her, and their relationship, instantly.
- My only real complaint is that at times, and I feel that this might be where people did not take to Tristan, I found his constant over analysis of ongoing situations to be very detailed and sometimes found myself skimming over these complicated thoughts. This is me really trying to find something wrong with the book though.
I would recommend this book to anyone, particularly if you enjoy historical fiction, fantasy, horror, or Gothic fiction. Overall, it is a fantastic book and a well thought out plot-line with many fast-paced twists and turns that kept me gripped and wanting more. Well done Jack Wolf!