Benjamin Ethridge's Reviews > Lullaby for the Rain Girl

Lullaby for the Rain Girl by Christopher Conlon
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May 25, 12

Read from April 16 to May 25, 2012

I have the feeling that when Conlon sets out to write a piece of fiction he aims for an emotionally haunting experience with fully realized characters. "Lullaby for the Rain Girl" is no exception. Emotional, oh yeah. Haunting, quite. And his characterization reaches a depth beyond what most consider excellent for genre.

In Lullaby this is especially so; Conlon surgically removes his main character Benjamin Fall's internals, deftly examines the various organs and their attachments to the biology as a whole, and then lovingly returns all of the mechanisms back to their rightful places. That's not the end of the process though. Next, he evaluates the scars left behind from such major surgery, and as a reader, you can appreciate those scars on a different level because you've explored this person in and out. That's the payoff for such deep acquaintance with Benjamin Fall.

This is a fascinating book, for many reasons, including the supernatural element. Conlon has created a new existential being, which I can only describe as a "premature spirit." You have to read the book to understand what I mean by that though. And believe me, you won't understand it UNTIL you read it.

Some of the main character's periodic short stories within the novel are brilliant and give clues to how Fall's mind works in conjunction with his heart. As well as poems that fix this property onto another character. It's an ingenius device, using literature within literature, and it works well for the material.

Some readers might be more critical and question whether all the short stories are absolutely necessary. And they might also take exception with the exploration of several of Fall's family relationships.

So are they needed for the story?

By the novel's conclusion, I would decidely say, yes. That intense, bloody surgery I mentioned before? It absolutely calls for it.
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