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A modern fable, a postapocalyptic romance, a Gothic horror story: Angela Carter's genre-defying fantasia Heroes and Villains.
Sharp-eyed Marianne lives in a white tower made of steel and concrete with her father and the other Professors. Outside, where the land is thickly wooded and wild beasts roam, live the Barbarians, who raid and pillage in order to survive.
Marianne is strictly forbidden to leave her civilised world but, fascinated by these savage outsiders, decides to escape. There, beyond the wire fences, she will discover a decaying paradise, encounter the tattooed Barbarian boy Jewel and go beyond the darkest limits of her imagination.
Playful, sensuous, violent and gripping, Heroes and Villains is an ambiguous and deliriously rich blend of postapocalyptic fiction, Gothic fantasy, literary allusion and twisted romance.
Angela Carter (1940-92) was born in Eastbourne and later evacuated to live with her grandmother in Yorkshire. She read English at Bristol University and, after escaping an early marriage, went to live in Japan for a number of years. She wrote nine novels, which blend fantasy, science fiction and Gothic, and is often referred to as a writer of magical realism.
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I am so used to beginning an Angela Carter book with great anticipation and high expectation only for the expectation to be wonderfully exceeded. I love that I can never guess the way the story will go, I love that they are so beautifully written, captivating, entrancing! So, imagine my disappointment when I started "Heroes and Villains" and had to check whether it was indeed written by Angela Carter. I just can't finish it! I can't even bare the thought of having it as background noise!
Yes, I am surprised at this too.
1 person found this helpful
Amazing book. Don't go in expecting rainbows
Angela Carter was truly a great writer. This book was one of her earlier works, and therefore is not as mature in feel as some of her later stories. But that is not to say that this story is not incredibly written. I would definitely warn anyone thinking about reading this to not expect a grand love story wrapped neatly with a bow, and that this book should probably come with content warnings for some.