My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you’re an impatient person, don’t read this book. If you don’t love literature, especially classical literature, don’t read this book. If you don’t have a sense of humour, most definitely do not read this book.
If, however, like me you enjoy a brain-teaser, a poke at literary figures, a story that is complex, and a writer who is not afraid to cross boundaries and genres, then by all means treat yourself and cuddle up with The Choir Boats by Daniel A. Rabuzzi.
This story is set in a quasi-Napoleonic War Era, part steam-punk, part Victorian gothic literature, part homage to Jules Verne. Throughout the novel there are allusions to literary characters from Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Melville, and more I’ve now forgotten.
The concept (an alternate reality marooned and its people given punishment of Biblical proportions)is a deliciously unique twist on a known trope, and the characters Rabuzzi sculpts, like Pygmalion’s creations, are infused with life. The narrative voice rings with period authenticity without being cumbersome, and the tension, for the most part, is kept taught despite a complex plot.
I will most definitely seek out more by Rabuzzi. And I exhort you to go and find your own copy of The Choir Boats.by