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The Elephant Keeper's Children

by Peter Hoeg

Almost fantastical story told from the point of view of a 12 year old Peter, who sets off with his sister on a series of adventures - a quest to find their parents who have mysteriously disappeared. Crammed with over the top characters with correspondingly bizarre and very long names, I initially found it hard to get into. But once I got used to the style, I found it an amusing but often deeply thoughtful tale.

Extract

Leonora Ticklepalate is seated on the floor with her legs crossed, and though she must be able to see the Finø Old People’s Home looming up on the horizon – Leonora is at least fifty – even I … must say she is a feast for the eye. And the reason for this is partly what she is wearing, which is a red Tibetan nun’s habit, and partly the fact she is tanned and bald and looks like Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3.
‘You are passing through the Court of the Lions at Alhambra,’ Leonora says into the phone. You are stark naked. And your bottom is naughty and pink.’

Translated by Martin Aitken

Parallels

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett
 

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