Angel Hench's Reviews > The Bedlam Stacks

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
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it was amazing
bookshelves: you-must-read-this, weird-and-wonderful

What a stunningly magical book! Merrick (Em) travels to Peru on a mission for the India Office (formerly that of East India Company villainy). He is to bring back the quinine wood that treats malaria - a plant that grows in the heart of Peru and is protected by a local monopoly. When he finally arrives in the village of Bedlam, nothing is as it seems. Glass roads, moving statues, candle ivy, the history of the place, and its current residents - all combine to make Bedlam and the surrounding lands a place out of a fairy tale. And, not the watered down princess-saving fairy tales we tell our children now. The original ones!

I won't tell you more so that I don't ruin the book for you. Suffice it to say, you will not be disappointed when you pick up this book. Do keep a dictionary handy. Ms. Pulley has a firm grasp of the (British) English language. Do keep a computer handy to google things you haven't heard of before, i.e. Schwarzwald-ish, Pyrrhic victory, shibboleths.

This is a swashbuckling, moving, brilliant, funny, touching story that I highly recommend!

(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)
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Reading Progress

May 19, 2017 – Shelved
May 31, 2017 – Started Reading
May 31, 2017 –
page 53
15.77% "So far I've learned the reason it is not a great idea to grow apple trees from seeds, and about the largest ship built up to its time in 1859. Interesting."
May 31, 2017 –
page 62
18.45% ""Being mad isn't an excuse for being vague. Can we at least have specific madness?""
May 31, 2017 –
page 74
22.02% "'Thank you,' I said, feeling shabby and English in the falling-apart, ill-looking way English people always seem whenever you stand them next to someone from a healthier latitude."
May 31, 2017 –
page 103
30.65% "Had to google if guinea pig is eaten in Peru. It is - it's a delicacy!"
June 1, 2017 –
page 135
40.18% ""He looked like his namesake must have when archangelic work still hinged on wrestling prophets.""
June 2, 2017 –
page 243
72.32% ""In a shilling spin of an instant I realized that he wasn't crude work but the ruin of something fine.""
June 2, 2017 –
page 234
69.64% "Pyrrhic victory. noun. a victory in which the victor's losses are as great as those of the defeated Also called Cadmean victory. named after Pyrrhus, who defeated the Romans at Asculum in 279 bc but suffered heavy losses."
June 3, 2017 –
page 300
89.29% ""We're terrible at everything. Lasting much past forty-five. Learning more than one language. It's a miracle, actually; sickly prematurely ageing worryingly inbred horsey idiots have managed to convince everyone else their way is the best by no other means than firmness of manner and the tactical distribution of flags. I can't believe no one's called our bluff yet.""
June 3, 2017 – Finished Reading

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