The Crimson Bears

Tom La Farge, Author, Tom La Farge, Author Sun & Moon $12.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-55713-074-7
Alice and Edgar, two half-grown bears, set off on a two-month journey by foot to see the world and visit their uncle, Claudio, a ruler of sorts. So begins LaFarge's tedious debut novel, the first volume in a projected series that is an adult fairy tale. When the siblings arrive, they discover Claudio's kingdom under threat of attack; he intends to send them home but they accidentally evade him and their porcupine nursemaid, and undergo a sequence of adventures reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland . The bears chase after a Slizz (a large, wooly lizard-like creature) that has become like a pet to them, exit their uncle's fortified castle and meet up with various composite beasts, including Thoog (``Saddle-backed bodies, propped in the air by a pair of legs like dandelion stems, white-haired, slender, ending in splay-toed feet'') and Ceruk (gentrified Slizz-like creatures who shave the fuzz from their bodies, wear clothes, speak and walk upright). Though each encounter presents a danger to the bears, they move on to the next adventure before readers have a chance to sympathize with their plight. LaFarge is capable of smooth prose, but he has neither the language skills of Lewis Carroll nor the wild imagination of the great fantasy writers. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
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