My review of Little Hands Clapping by Dan Rhodes
Blurb from the back cover
In a room above a bizarre German museum, and far from the prying eyes of strangers, lives the Old Man. Caretaker by day, by night he enjoys the sound of silence, broken only by the occasional crunch of a spider between his teeth.
Little Hands Clapping bring the Old Man together with the respectable Doctor Ernst Frohlicher, his dog Hans and a cast of grotesque and hilarious townsfolk who find themselves involved in a crime so outrageous it will shock the world.
From its sinister opening to its explosive denouement, Little Hands Clapping blends lavishly entertaining story telling with Rhodes's macabre imagination, entrancing originality and magical touch.
My thoughts on the book
I said, in my October reading list post, that I chose this book simply because the cover looked Halloweeny so it would be perfect for October. I had no idea what genre it was or what it was really about. I have now finished the book and I feel exactly the same.
I'm not sure if I have missed something, but the book centres around a man with no name and a Doctor. The man with no name delivers bodies of suicide victims to the Doctor who then eats them. The man with no name lives in a museum (I am yet to work out if h is supposed to live, is living there in secret or is in fact some sort of ghost) and somehow the exhibition makes people want to kill themselves. Again I am not sure if this is some sort of super natural power or if the exhibition is supposed to be that depressing.
Conclusion and rating
I think this book falls short of the mark. It could be truly terrifying. A museum exhibition wit supernatural powers that bring on suicide, an ambiguous man who lives there and a cannibalistic Doctor. However, it isn't scary. It doesn't even try to be. It lacks tension building and the descriptions of the death scene and the cannibalism are rather lacking.
I'm not sure if its supposed to be a bit tongue in cheek and satirical but it's not funny either. Maybe I have missed the point, but I really don't get this book. This is why people say don't judge a book by its cover. 1/5
Have you read this book? Did I miss the point? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!