Monday 21 March 2016

Review: Robert Eggleton's Trippy 'Rarity From the Hollow'

Rarity From The Hollow

The problem with loving a specific genre of books is that sooner or later you will find that you've read it all. For months at a time it will seem that every other book you pick up is just another dystopian novel set upon a craft hurtling through space or just another super-human story with a protagonist subjected to a lifetime of intrusive and unnecessary tests. It is very rare indeed that a book stops you in your tracks and tells a story that is completely unique and ever so slightly weird.

Robert Eggleton's Rarity From the Hollow is just such a book. If I had to try describe it, I'd say it is a cross between an episode of Doctor Who and Jeff Noon's Vurt. It is a trippy and surreal story about a girl from a severely unprivileged environment who falls in love with an extra-terrestrial android who, it turns out, has genetically modified her ancestors since pre-historic times to breed the girl who will eventually save the universe.

Lacy Dawn is the girl and DotCom is the android who has been reprogramming Lacy Dawn's mind for years, training her to become the saviour she is destined to become. Neither counted on falling in love with the other.

Rarity From the Hollow is quite possibly the oddest book I have ever read. Which is not a bad thing. It is funny and irreverant but beneath the hallucinatory story of visits to shopping planets and interstellar shopping games, there is a profound critique of social problems, substance abuse, child sexual abuse and child murder that is quite eye opening. It is all well and good to paint a brush and fix a society, but what exactly would it take to fix the myriad of social problems in underprivileged areas in the real world?

Rarity From the Hollow is very, very good. My only complaint, and it is a real one, is that it is much too long and rambling. For a book this interesting, entertaining and fantastical, you shouldn't be so relieved to finally get to the end. Nevertheless, I'd recommend Rarity From the Hollow to anybody who likes a side helping of the lunatic with their science fiction and fantasy.

© 2005 - Mandy Southgate | Addicted to Media

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