Red Haircrow's Reviews > V.I.T.R.I.O.L.

V.I.T.R.I.O.L. by Anne de Gandt
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May 18, 11

Read in May, 2011

There was a poem by the French author, Charles Baudelaire from his “Les Fleurs du Mal,” titled “The Carcass” that particularly struck me. It begins:

“Do you remember the sight we saw, my soul,
that soft summer morning
round a turning in the path…?”


Even when translated to English it has a distinct metre and flow. Visual, simple yet profound, it was intimate, speaking as if only to me, yet clearly had monumental breadth and might whisper to anyone. It was unforgettable after I first heard then read it. Anne de Gandt’s V.I.T.R.I.O.L. was the same.

There is a challenge in this work, however, and I found I ached to revise this precious gem as there were some errors of spelling, structure and tense that, at times, interrupted the flow. V.I.T.R.I.O.L is literary fiction: setting, imagery, voice, characterization, and more, not to be confused with anything less as this would lessen its impact. Those looking for light, blasé reading, a book to pick up and put away without a second thought? Look elsewhere.

Personally, this story deeply spoke to me for it echoed expressions in my own memoir. I had to read it slowly, in increments I could understand, equate before I could pass on to another scene. For similar reasons, I reread it a few times drawing as much emotion as I could from the story of its words. It’s rare that a work creates in me a desire know more behind what has been presented. I knew that only reading it once wasn’t enough. For that reason, I would imagine some might find V.I.T.R.I.O.L. too cryptic, too difficult to comprehend at times, but I found it engaging far beyond average.

In the emotionally charged seventeen pages of V.I.T.R.I.O.L, there are almost whimsical views through the hideous evil people commit, the senseless brutality in their selfish desire for sexual release and power over others. Those who’ve suffer thusly will recognize and know what is being represented through imagery. Be prepared to remember parts of the rage, fear, hurt, grief, hopelessness felt after “those” times; your own personal madness in the so-called world of sanity, yet it is not a book without hope or which lacks beauty despite its serious themes. It is real is the sense of the word that this is authentic, believable, utter truth. Haunting, powerful and very, very unique. With great eagerness and curiosity I look forward to reading more of Anne de Gandt’s work.

From the review/interview site Flying With Red Haircrow.
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