The Troupe by Robert J Bennett

Just finished reading the Troupe by Robert J Bennett.  This book is without a doubt, not a shadow of it, brilliant.  It is going on the list.  If this book isn’t on best of year lists for many, many people, come the end of 2012 then all I can say is that (a) what is wrong with everyone!  or  (b) we must have had some damn fine books for the rest of the year.  This read is intriguing, it’s compelling and I will just say, by way of warning, don’t pick this up unless you can put your life on hold and dedicate a few days to it whilst ignoring all your friends, family, work, dogs, social life, etc, etc.  You get the picture.

This book tells the story of George, he’s part of a Vaudeville act.  He’s a whizz on the piano.  He’s desperately searching for something but pretty soon he’s going to be desperately running from something too.  It’s a coming of age novel in a very unique setting and told by an amazing story teller.   I’m basically not going to tell anything about the plot of this book.  It needs to be original and fresh.  Plenty of books, and films, are surrounded by hype and don’t live up to them.  This one should be smothered in hype because it delivers.  I loved it. Did I say that already?

Okay, not talking about the plot, so what else.  The start.  It just pulls you in.  It’s beguiling.  It puts a spell on you.  You want to know what’s going on.  The characters – they’re a rich bunch, George is by no means the best character – actually Silenus is definitely my favourite.  The whole idea of this Vaudeville show – it’s so interesting to read about, we get a little glimpse into this type of life but in a way which is unreal and unnerving..

On top of that, we have fantasy.   Such great imagination.  There are bits of everything in here.  I don’t know even know what genre you can put this into and that’s what makes it so great.  No boxes.  There are lots of things that this puts me in mind of – definitely Neverwhere, Labyrinth, Strange and Norrell, The book of Lost Things and other books so numerous that I won’t bore you, but whilst it conjures them all to mind it isn’t like any of them.  It’s original.  I was reading it and it was evoking memories of other novels but it wasn’t making me think it was a carbon copy, it just simply made me think of them.

Other elements – creepiness, gothic storytelling, elements of horror.  Hair standing up on the back of your neck wondering why you sat up so late to read by yourself and now you’re the last one up and have to turn the lights off.  All I can say is the Puppets!

Do I have any criticisms.  Maybe if I thought about it really hard I might conjure something up, pull the rabbit out of the hat.  But, nothing springs to mind right now.

I love this book and I think everybody should read it.  Highly recommended.

The Troupe

The Troupe

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14 Responses to “The Troupe by Robert J Bennett”

  1. Lynn’s Books Review « Robert Jackson Bennett

    […] Troupe gets a very enthusiastic review over at Lynn’s Book Blog: This book is without a doubt, not a shadow of it, brilliant.  It is going on the list.  If this […]

    • lynnsbooks

      All I can say is, please, write some more books! I’m going to get your others right now….. (but they won’t last long!)

      • robertjacksonbennett

        Haha, thanks! I’m trying my hardest to get more out there now…

      • lynnsbooks

        Lol! I’m a quick reader – no pressure (i’m just saying).
        Lynn 😀

  2. Redhead

    isn’t it a joy to come across books like this? I’m so happy you enjoyed it, it was one of recently faves too!

  3. lynnsbooks

    I loved it – and it’s thanks to you that I found it!
    Lynn 😀

  4. jenclair

    Going straight to Amazon to add it to my wishlist. I’ll check the library first, but my wishlist is where I keep track of books I want to read…hopefully without buying them.

    Thanks for your enthusiastic recommendation!

    • lynnsbooks

      I hope you enjoy it – I think, for me, this has been one of my favourite books so far this year. Let me know if you like it.
      Lynn 😀

  5. wildnightin

    Hooray for brilliant books! Or rather, this one. I’m adding it to the top three in my TBR fantasy pile as it sounds really well-written and your review’s really piqued my interest.

    • lynnsbooks

      I loved it – I hope you like it too. You’ll have to let me know.

      Lynn 😀

  6. You will, you will, you will… | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] The Troupe, Robert Bennett – a ‘must read’ recommendation by Andrea at Little Red Reviewer – I really enjoyed this and have read all of RB’s other books as a result (except for American Elsewhere – which I will read!!) – LRR – you have a lot to answer for (massive TRB!!) […]

  7. American Elsewhere by R J Bennett | Lynn's Book Blog

    […] novels by RJ Bennett – all really good: The Troupe/Mr Shivers/The Company […]

  8. Highly recommended… | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett – I love this book and I think everybody should read it.  Highly recommended.  Creepy gothicness (it’s a word!) […]

  9. Ode to bloggers.. | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Troupe by Robert J Bennett – recommended to me by Andrea at The Little Red Reviewer – again, one of many titles that I’ve picked up from this excellent blog! […]

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