Peter and Max is a real treat for those interested in adult faerie tales

I suppose I should have kept back this post, for, after all, we are having an adult fairy tale as our book for December, but I listened to Peter and Max recently while I was off from work with a strained muscle in my back, and it was a very impressive first novel.

Now, when I say its a first novel I am being disingenuous, because Bill Willingham, the author, has been penning a comic book called Fables, for many years now. Fables is, as its tagline suggests, about fairy tale creatures and characters, forced into exile in our world. It’s a truly excellent series, which uses the exodus of the Fables from their mythic lands, to form a tiny pair of enclaves in our world, as a way of exploring the issues surrounding the modern state of Israel., among other things.

Peter and Max is about the rivalry between two brothers, each musicians. One, overcome by jealousy, becomes the tool of vengeance for a wronged witch, then chooses a life of evil. The other, constrained by circumstances, dabbles in crime but keeps his heart pure, and seeks sanctuary in our world. A final confrontation is, of course, inevitable.

In terms of tone, t’s not as literary as Angela Carter or Charles de Lint, but it’s not as frothy as Laurel K Hamilton. It’s serious and whimsical in turns. The read, by Wil Wheaton, is very well done. The one flaw, perhaps, is that there is a great deal of exposition at the beginning, which I suggest you power through to get to the core of the story.

I enjoyed this a great deal, and would recommend it to others.