“a true masterpiece of surrealism and imaginative storytelling” – review of The Rhymer on Risingshadow

On the Risingshadow website, Seregil of Rhiminee has written a review of Douglas Thompson’s latest novel The Rhymer, an Heredyssey. He describes it as “one of the most rewarding and challenging reading experiences of the year. It’s an exceptionally rich, beautifully written and complex novel for adult readers.” Seregil continues by saying that he has enjoyed Douglas’ novels in the past and this (Douglas’ eighth novel) is his “most daring and original novel to date”.

Artwork by Alison Buck
Artwork by Alison Buck

Seregil says that Douglas “has succeeded perfectly in creating a wonderfully strange, satirical and compelling story that pulls the reader into a world that’s a fantastical blend of fantasy and realism.” Going on to point out that it is “in equal parts speculative fiction, surreal fiction, visionary fiction, metaphysical fiction, satirical fiction and contemporary fiction”, he says that this might sound like a strange combination “but trust me when I say that it works well in this novel. Douglas Thompson is one of the few authors who are capable of writing this kind of beautiful and complex literary fiction.”

Describing the comic and poetic way Douglas “handles such delicate themes as love, loss, life, death and morality” he says that he “writes beautifully about these themes and avoids easy solutions.” Seregil is very complimentary about the complexity and depth of the novel, and appreciative of the way that the reader is expected to be able to follow a complex story that “never underestimates the reader’s intelligence.”

There’s much more in this review than I can excerpt here, he describes the satire as “stingingly humorous” and bordering “on being almost diabolically funny”. He says that “The lyrical and evocative prose is nuanced and beautiful”. He also says that the cover and interior illustrations designed by Alison Buck are “beautiful and fit the story perfectly”.

He concludes by saying the book is “a stunningly original and genre-bending novel that showcases the depth of Douglas Thompson’s imagination and his writing skills. It’s a true masterpiece of surrealism and imaginative storytelling that needs to be experienced personally to fully understand its nuanced and intricate beauty.”

You know, I think he liked it! You can (and should) read the full review here.