Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Where the Trains Turn, by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen

Where the Trains Turn is my first and last novella read strictly for the World Fantasy Award.  And it's a pretty good one--the story was originally written in Finnish and has that very different sensibility one gets from authors from places that don't normally get attention.  The trope, however, is standard enough--trains going off the rails to do their own thing--that I am thinking I've seen it before.

Our protagonist is the mother of a very imaginative boy, imaginative enough that it seems it might harm him.  The mother tries various tactics to save him from the fate of this overactive inner life, and seems to succeed.  But there are cracks--the boy spends significant time with his father (he and the mother are divorced) and picks up a somewhat supernatural love of trains from him.

The story unfolds somewhat predictably, up until the ending which is a very good twist so I won't spoil it for you.  For that ending I make it a strong contender for the award, though I also like The Devil In America.  Go for it as an entertaining read for a couple of hours.  3 stars.

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