BOOK REVIEW: The Fountains of Neptune by Rikki Ducornet. A criminally unknown author of literary fantasy

The Fountains of NeptuneThe Fountains of Neptune by Rikki Ducornet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The Fountains of Neptune” is a dream-like, dense anti-novel that uses dreams and myths to discuss the perception of history, memory, and loss. Like the novels of Jeanette Winterson, “Neptune” does not rely on standard plot structure. The basic story is two-fold: young Nicholas grows up in preWWI France, a precocious nine year old living a town of eccentric storytellers. A traumatic event causes him to go into a coma. He wakes up 50 years later, after both World Wars, having spent his life in dreams. The second part of the story concerns his relationship with his therapist, Dr. K, and her attempts to rebuild his memories. But it is Ducornet’s unlimited imagination and gift for fabulation that is the true star here. Her images are sharp, eerie, humorous — and always haunted. Ducornet leads us into the labyrinth of the subconsious — complete with its demons, half-heard conversations, and golden memories — but leaves no trail of twine or breadcrumbs to find our way out. Phantom ships, enchanted seascapes combined with idyllic countrysides and the philosophical world the Spa where Nicholas and Dr. K have their metaphysical relationship make this one labyrinth you won’t want to leave — Minotaurs or not.

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