Thursday, February 18, 2010

10.08 Night Of The Jabberwock by Frederic Brown

Night Of The Jabberwock (1951) by Frederic Brown Pbk, William Morrow & Co.

I am disconcertingly behind in my book reviews for 2010. The further I fall back the less I am inclined to try catching up. The plan now is to post short blurbs most likely credited to other sources with a short afterword containing my thoughts. I hope, once caught up, to reload on my own reviews. On to Night of the Jabberwock:

"Nothing compares with Fredric Brown’s inimitable, hallucinatory sense of humor. Equally adept writing both sci-fi and crime fiction, his best novels often show the influence of both—nightmarish tales of the bizarre that seem too weird to be true. But, in Brown’s world, the truth is never normal, and the irrational reigns supreme. Such is the case with Night of the Jabberwock (1950), which follows a reclusive Lewis Carroll scholar making his living as a small-town newspaper editor as he takes a trip through the proverbial “rabbit hole” and winds up in the most unexpected of situations. A strange man appears at his door one night, offering him the opportunity to “raise the Jabberwock” at midnight; meanwhile, a lunatic has escaped from the local asylum; and, to add to the mayhem, big city mobsters are on their way to town, and our protagonist wants to get the full scoop. The concoction is pure Brown: a surreal voyage laden with humor and action in which the protagonist—and the reader—is always on the brink of losing their sanity. Plus—what other crime novel features such fascinating, in-depth discussions of Carroll’s literary and scientific work, or begins every chapter with an applicable quotation from the author? Certainly a one-of-a-kind book, and worth all the effort it takes to track it down."
- Cullen Gallagher in pattinase

I felt like the novel was a bit overly plotted and my unfamiliarity with the Alice story didn't help me. Nevertheless, there were some taught mystery and thriller elements that showed what a fine writer FB was.

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