Book Review: Lud-in-the-Mist

I’ve wanted to do a review of this fantastic novel for some time, but I never really knew how to start. This review says everything I’ve wanted to, and does so in a particularly eloquent way.

Naturally, an Annotation

The first couple of pages of Hope Mirrlees’s novel are filled with deceptively charming descriptions of the quaint and picturesque Lud-in-the-Mist, a city of merchants at the confluence of two rivers, the Dapple and the Dawl, in the country of Dorimare. In the very first paragraph, though, we are told, rather matter-of-factly, that “towards the west, in striking contrast with the pastoral sobriety of the central plain, the aspect of the country became, if not tropical, at any rate distinctly exotic. Nor was this to be wondered at, perhaps; for beyond the Debatable Hills (the boundary of Dorimare in the west) lay Fairyland.” The surname of its protagonist, Nathaniel Chanticleer (= Rooster), Mayor of Lud-in-the-Mist, is a further hint that we’re in fable territory. We also discover that the Dapple has its origins in Fairyland. But very soon, the narrative takes a subtly menacing and sinister turn: Nathaniel Chanticleer, for…

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One response to “Book Review: Lud-in-the-Mist

  1. Thank you for sharing that book review. I still have not read L-i-M, I may have to buy it. But the story and the writing style of the author sure sound interesting from that interview. And I know it’s one of your favorite books.


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