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The Vorrh

Inci hat Brian Catlings The Vorrh gelesen

Zusammenfassung auf Deutsch:
Brian Catlings The Vorrh verbindet Phantastik und Kolonialgeschichte zu einem schwindelerregend guten Roman. Der titelgebende Vorrh ist ein legendärer Wald nahe der Kolonialstadt Essenwald in einem Alternativwelt-Afrika. Es heißt, dass im Vorrh der Garten Eden liegt, dass dort Engel leben und dass sich die eigenen Erinnerungen verändern, wenn man sich zu tief hineinbegibt …

Ausführliche Rezension auf Englisch:

This afternoon on my way home from work, I was feeling the sheer happiness to go home after a tiring day to read a book that has completely got me glued to the pages for the past few days. A book that sucks you in and makes you cheer, appal, chill, creep, makes you read a certain sentence over and over again because of its beauty and even though it is already 1:30 and you have to get up early in the morning, you just cannot let go. Then I remembered that I finished reading it, and immediately felt depressed. I bet you know that feeling and you love that kind of book. And that is the reason I think nobody should miss reading the spectacular The Vorrh from Brian Catling.
Let us start with the plot:

The Vorrh is a legendary forest that lies on the outskirts of the colonial town Essenwald in some alternate Africa. Many tales are being told about this place, some say the Garden of Eden exists at its centre and that angels live there and that it takes your memory and changes you once you go in too far.
A deserter of the colonial army, armed with a very extraordinary bow and protected by his dead lover, begins running into the forest. All he knows is he has a mission, but it is not him who will use the bow.
Tsungali of the tribe True People, former policeman for the colonial army and initiator of the rebellion against the occupants that will later lead to the hefty Possession Wars, is chosen to stop him. This warrior covered in tattoos of charms and prophecies does not know who he is hunting.
Ishmael is a cyclops who does not know how unique he is in the world of humans since he was raised in isolation by four robots shaped in his image – the so called Kin: Abel, Aklia, Seth and Luluwa. Mysteriously, a crate is delivered to the house he lives in every week; it holds material with which the four Kin teach Ishmael about the world outside. His life changes radically when he is discovered by Ghertrude Tulp, a highly curious upper-class girl.
One of the book's three real world characters, French novelist Raymond Roussel, is on his way into the Vorrh, accompanied by his servant Charlotte, when he finds (or is rather found by) the charismatic young man he calls Seil Kor, who will guide him.
Photographer Edward Muybridge, yet another character from history, is a normal young man until he is involved in a stagecoach accident in America that leaves him brain-damaged and turn him into a completely different person. He comes to England to be treated by the last real life character of the book, Sir William Gull, a physician who has actually contributed a great deal to the understanding of anorexia nervosa and who, in an number of theories, is connected to Jack the Ripper. The next two encounters with Gull will have a lasting effect on Muybridge.

This is just a short overview of how things start and I already feel dizzied by so much ingenuity. There is so much more that is fascinating to Catling's book: an outstanding creativity, the sense of the story talking to you from another time, truly stunning scenes and... did I mention his beautiful sentences?
Do not be mislead when I talk about being absorbed by the book though, this is no brainless page turner. On the contrary, there are passages here that will reach right into you. Catling often dwells on the notion of “control”, be it mindpower, control of body/mind or control of white over black and of black over white. There are scenes so horrific (and I mean horrific literally) that I defy any die-hard horror fan to go peacefully to sleep after reading them.
I'm frankly surprised and sad, really, that I was not aware of this book before and I am frankly thankful that it found me. I am sure that is how many people will feel once they have read it.
Be prepared to be astonished!

Brian Catling, The Vorrh, Vintage, in englischer Sprache, Euro 15,95

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