A Tantony Pig by R. Ostermeier
“There’s a school bus. A thing like a baked bean. Orange thing. I never see children on it.”
Deliciously and darkly oddball, with the few disarming references to body parts and a judicious use of swear words, and I think I may have made a new discovery in strange story writing under the name of this writer. An apotheosis of niches and huddled streets in an out of the way closed coastal community and an atmosphere to die for. A story of Lost Boys in seaweedish smocks or dresses who ritualistically scrum out this reason for which to die and I fear I am getting so old I might have been the man in his bowling green hut. Amid the politely and sometimes stridently rude locals (in both senses of ‘rude’) and the shriek-barks of foxes.
Some descriptions and ambiances in this story often excel even the best of this genre of fiction, if not of literature in general! Shadowy seconds to match Elizabeth Bowen’s shadowy thirds!
The self being shadowed by a mutated earlier version of it? And perhaps I myself was a tantony pig by dint of being an only child, if not only a child.
The full context of my review of A TRICK OF THE SHADOW is here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2022/02/04/a-trick-of-the-shadow-by-r-ostermeier/
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