Welcome to the June 2010 edition of the Reader's Den!
A while ago, babble.com created a list of the 26 Most Disturbing Kids Movies of all time. Watership Down made the list, and if you’ve never read the book by Richard Adams, get yourself a copy, it’s a great book. At any rate, it made me think about disturbing anthropomorphized characters in literature and that, in turn, led me to think about books about animals doing people things, and that in turn led me to Amberville (in this case, stuffed animals doing people things) and finally, to Scandinavian crime fiction and cinema. I know, it’s a convoluted path, but stick with me and I’m sure you’ll find something to enjoy in this month’s edition of the Reader’s Den.
Eric Bear has left behind his hardscrabble past and has settled down with his beautiful wife, Emma Rabbit. All is going well until Nicholas Dove knocks on his door. Dove, a bloodthirsty gangster has learned that his name is on the fabled Death List. If Eric fails to save him, his beloved Emma will be torn limb from limb. Rather than set out alone, Eric enlists his former gangster teammates: Tom-Tom Crow, Sam Gazelle and Snake Marek.
Part crime noir, part allegory, Amberville takes place in Mollisan Town, a dark, seething metropolis. Oh, and all the characters are stuffed animals. Davys, the pseudonym of a Swedish writer, manages to show the seedy underbelly of society and say something about humanity, all while never letting us forget that these are stuffed animals that are performing in this morality play.