Basic plot: two little old ladies while away their golden years by taking care of their nephew Teddy and actively pursuing their charity work. Never m...moreBasic plot: two little old ladies while away their golden years by taking care of their nephew Teddy and actively pursuing their charity work. Never mind that Teddy thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt and their charity work consists of poisoning little old men.
This is one of the most wonderful bits of dark humor I've ever read. It's laugh-out-loud funny (even when just reading it) and still manages to be creepy. Oh the irony, oh the death, oh the references to Boris Karloff...
I just got done reading this play again, after reading it with my technical theatre class in preparation for their final project. I am once again struck by how well the tale was crafted. The story is still funny to me, even after multiple readings. The inside jokes within the play for theatre people (Mortimer has some great lines, as he's supposed to be a theatre critic) are hysterical. In this 21st century world, we don't tend to think of how sassy people used to be in the 1930's and 1940's. We forget that the people of that time were human beings, with needs/wants and senses of humor, justice, or the macabre. This play reminds us that our grandparents were young once, too, and were people we actually CAN relate to.(less)
Robin McKinley is an interesting author- one of my favorites. Part of the reason for that is that one never knows quite what to expect from her work,...moreRobin McKinley is an interesting author- one of my favorites. Part of the reason for that is that one never knows quite what to expect from her work, except that it will stretch the reader's imagination to its fullest.
McKinley takes a stab at urban fantasy here, and being as she's mostly known for her high fantasy stories, I'd say she did a good job with this first foray. She created an interesting and believable world, similar enough to our own to be comfortable, but different enough to draw in a curious reader. I really liked the characters and explanation for the state of the world.
As I've said before and will probably say again, I'm very over my vampire phase (yet I seem to keep reading books with vampires in them...), but this is a VERY different vampire story. The magic and personality of the characters has a lot to do with that, I think. McKinley seems to be very focused on realism within her fantasies. Her characters react in very believable ways. Sometimes those actions are not what the reader wants to see characters do, but they are what "real" people would do when placed in very strange situations. An excellent novel.(less)