The Magic Toyshop

The Magic Toyshop

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'This crazy world whirled around her, men and women dwarfed by toys and puppets, where even the birds are mechanical and the few human figures went masked...She was in the night once again, and the doll was herself.' One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother's wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave the home of her childhood, she is sent to live with relatives she has never met: gentle Aunt Margaret, mute since her wedding day; and her brothers, Francie and Finn. Brooding over all is Uncle Philip, who loves only the toys he makes in his workshop: clockwork roses and puppets that are life-size - and uncannily life-like.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 18mm | 160g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0860681904
  • 9780860681908
  • 15,844

Review quote

The boldest of English women writers Lorna Sage Her writing is pyrotechnic - fuelled with ideas, packed with images and spangling the night sky with her starry language Observer She can glide from ancient to modern, from darkness to luminosity, from depravity to comedy without any hint of strain and without losing the elusive power of the original tales The Times Beneath its contemporary surface, this novel shimmers with blurred echoes-from Lewis Carroll, from 'Giselle' and 'Coppelia,' Harlequin and Punch... It leaves behind it a flavor, pungent and unsettling New York Times

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About Angela Carter

Angela Carter was born in 1940. One of Britain's most original and disturbing writers, she died in 1992.

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Review Text

If you remember (if you read it - you will) the alarming Honeybuzzard, Angela Carter is a young writer of some imaginative precision who has developed a form which is very much her own - you might call it a Victorian gothic grotesque. This one, just as sad and sinister and mystifying in its intent, mostly takes place in a filthy flat above a toyshop where Melanie, fifteen, and her younger brother and sister are sent to stay with an aunt and uncle after their parents' death. Their aunt has been dumb ever since her wedding; their uncle is very frightening; and their aunt's two brothers (grown) to whom Melanic refers as the "red" people, are also permanently attached to the household. Part of what is taking place there will be clear when the uncle stages a puppet show; the rest will not even have been suspected. All of this alternates between reality (Miss Carter has a decorator eye for detail) and dark fantasy, but for the common reader her babes in toyland exposed to truly forbidden games remain something of an isolating curiosa. (Kirkus Reviews)

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