The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett
|The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett|
|Reviewer: Simon Dawson|
|Summary: Even amongst the travelling fraternity of the Vaudeville, Silenus' troupe are strange, secretive and surrounded my mystery. Yet George, a sixteen-year-old pianist sets out to join them, at first because he believes the leader, Silenus, is his father, but very quickly after because the secrets he uncovers means he himself is tied to the troupe in ways he could not have imagined, and everyone is in danger.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 485||Date: February 2012|
Deliciously creepy, this is a book to dive into and forget the real world for a while, and it will make you forget the real world.
George never knew his father, a man with whom his mother had a brief relationship when the Vaudeville - a travelling theatre company - came to town. Sixteen years later and George is following in the footsteps he believes to be his father's, by playing piano at a theatre on the circuit and hoping his father will show up. He doesn't, so George goes in search of him. The first glimpse George has of the man he thinks of as his father is at one of the troupe's shows. He is captivated not just by Silenus, but by the entire company.
Afterwards George goes backstage where he meets Silenus, and thus a whole other world is revealed to him, a world full of wolves and men in grey suits who are after the troupe and bent of destroying the secrets the troupe carry around with them, the largest of which are snippets of the First Song that date back to the creation of time.
Having proved his worth by warning them about a potential trap, George joins the troupe and from there on things get seriously weird. When they're not performing the troupe are on the run for their very lives, and the dark adventures described are wonderfully creepy.
If books were music this would be a symphony performed at the proms; it's round, and full, and big, and packed with ideas. The characters are alive, the horror deep and dark and moody and mean, the story tight and the twists appear out of the blackness like sudden bolts of lightning. The whole thing is an utter delight and highly recommended.
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