The Girl With Glass Feet

The Girl With Glass Feet coverA brief break from Interzone to say that I agree with everything Kari Sperring has already said about this book in her review for Strange Horizons, except that I gulped it down in a couple of days. An intense, entropic, ugly-beautiful fable; heavy with the cold, crisp details of remote St Hauda’s Land, tangled in the quasi-incestuous closeness of the community that lives there, people both exquisitely and exasperatingly broken. A book about ways of seeing, about what we don’t see of other people, or choose not to see, or are incapable of seeing, and what we lose in consequence; and therefore about the power of glimpses, where the fantastic lies in how something is seen as much as in the images breaking through a convincing quotidian skin: “Those few inches of transition astonished him even more than her solid glass toes. Bones materialized faintly inside the ball of her foot, then became lily-white and precise nearer her unaltered ankle … In the curve of her instep wisps of blood hung trapped like twirls of paint in marbles” (62). And a cruel story that chooses, uncomfortably, to pay more attention to its men and its landscape than its women; a story that does address this uncomfortableness and this cruelty, but doesn’t escape either. Somewhat in spite of myself, I am transported.

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4 Responses to “The Girl With Glass Feet”

  1. 2010 « Torque Control Says:

    [...] The Girl With Glass Feet [...]

  2. The Girl With Glass Feet, by Ali Shaw « @Number 71 Says:

    [...] at Torque Control, Niall is positive about the book, although you detect something of a wish on his part that he didn’t have to be. He’s [...]

  3. “Bone Island” by Shannon Page and Jay Lake « Torque Control Says:

    [...] blood”); its attempt to portray a tight-knit island community rather pales in comparison to Ali Shaw’s (and at times feels rather ersatz); and it is, most criminally, rather dull. A shame. [...]

  4. The Books of 2009 « Torque Control Says:

    [...] sustained uncertainty of genre: I hope to write this up in more detail at some point); Ali Shaw’s The Girl with Glass Feet (despite my reservations about it); Marcel Theroux’s Far North (under-appreciated, I think); or [...]


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