Thursday, June 9, 2011

REVIEW: The Angel of Berlin by Red Haircrow (with giveaway!)

Not having had a lot of experience with Red's work, I wasn't sure what to expect from Angel of Berlin - other than a beautiful read, that is. No matter what he's writing about, Red has an absolutely gorgeous style to his writing, with a narrative voice that is almost hypnotic.

This is a story that began with a dream, and that dreamlike quality comes through in the story. Red draws us into his dream with beautifully seductive language, painting a picture in our minds that is, at the same time, both vivid and subtle. Even when a character is standing on a busy street corner, in broad daylight, the description still evokes the feeling of a dreamy evening at home:

Long blonde hair the color of old gold under candlelight blew in a light breeze.

As for the story itself, what Red has woven here is a contemporary fairy tale. It's beautiful and magical, with subtle touches of the supernatural, and no attempt to explain away or justify the mystery. He simply allows the story to take its course, sharing with us not just his dream, but the experience of the dream. It's a lovely thing to experience and if, at the end, we awake with questions . . . well, that's part of the mystery.

For a short story, Red does a wonderful job of establishing and developing his characters. Angel is a beautiful young man, with suggestions of a darker past beneath his childlike innocence. He doesn't speak a word for most of the story, instead expressing himself through his actions. It's a testament to the power of the dream that his innocence never becomes tiring, and never loses it's charm. As for Robin, the young man who 'finds' him and takes him in, he's just your ordinary working student, on his own for the first time, and inexplicably drawn to this mysterious stranger.

Ultimately, this is a story to take your time with . . . to read slowly . . . to savour each word. If you're willing to sit back and immerse yourself in the dream, I promise you'll wake delighted and refreshed, with a smile on your face.


GIVEAWAY: To help celebrate the upcoming release of The Angel of Berlin, Red has very generously offered to provide a copy to three (3) lucky readers!  Simply leave your name and email address in the comments section below to be entered chance to win! We'll be drawing the random winners Monday, June 13th.


  1. Your description of Red's writing is enticing. Please enter me for a chance to win this short.

    Thanks ~ Miranda
    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

  2. It sounds fascinating and I can't help but love anything with a ~dreamy quality in it :)

    mairhiamon at hotmail dot com

  3. This sounds very good! Thanks for the giveaway!


  4. This kind of reminds me of poetry and the visuals seem to come alive.

  5. I'm not entering the contest, just wanted to tell I really loved this story.

  6. This sounds lovely. Count me in, please!