Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Shadow Dance (Carter) 442
Initially nervous about reading Angela Carter, I greatly enjoyed reading The magic toyshop back in August and I was quite looking forward (but still quite nervous about) to encountering her again. I found Shadow dance lurking at work when I was looking for a VMC to occupy me one lunchtime and thought that I would give that a go. This was Carter's first novel, and although I found it reasonably enjoyable, I was not gripped in the way that I had been by The magic toyshop. It will be interesting as I read more of Carter to see the development in her writing from this title.
There was a less clearly developed plot in this novel; I felt it was more a description of characters and episodes to illustrate the 1960s urban landscape. It was theatrical and like The magic toyshop, full of distinctive writing utilising fabulous description and imagery. I loved this passage at the beginning describing Ghislaine:
"she used to come here, every night; but she drank little - she only used to have her little half pint to last her a whole evening, a modest, temperate, unassuming half that she would buy for herself, to demonstrate her independence. She would use it to mark her place at a table when she made butterfly darts across the crowd to settle lightly at someone's table, smiling her tremulous, shy, disingenuous smile and saying "Hallooo" with the dying fall of an F.Scott Fitzgerald chick spinning giddily to hell; and she gathered them up in armfuls, her lovers, every night in the manner of a careless baby playing in a meadow, pulling both flowers and grass and nettles and piss-the-beds in a spilling promiscuous bundle"
It's been published a number of times as a VMC, but I've only been able to find a picture online of the most recent edition (above)
(if anyone can help with other pictures, then let me know and I will add them to this post or post about them in future!)