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Saturday, July 25, 2020

As I Was on My Way to Strawberry Fair by Raymond St. Elmo

Buy As I Was on My Way to Strawberry Fair HERE(USA) or HERE(UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Quest of the Five Clans series and The Scaled Tartan
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Origin of Birds in The Footprints of Writing
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Stations of Angels

Author information: Raymond St. Elmo is a computer programmer living in Texas. A degree in Spanish Literature gave him a love of magic realism. A fascination with artificial intelligence gave him a job. His books tend to be first-person fantastical accounts with frequent references to William Blake, Borges and PKD.

Format: As I Was on My Way to Strawberry Fair was self-published by the author on July 30, 2016, and is available through Kindle Unlimited and in ebook and paperback formats. It counts 350 pages.

Overview: After the recent bloodbath, preceded by bizarro surreal atrocities I needed something lighter. As I was on My Way to Strawberry Fair has been sitting on my kindle for a while. Strawberries aren't associated with rape, violence, and mayhem, so I thought it was the right time to read the book.
I will find you at Strawberry Fair,I will win you a lion, a tiger, a bear.I will buy you ices, electronic devicesAnd give you a kiss for finding me there.
Two strangers aide one other on a dark country road and vow to meet again at the local Renaissance Fair. Strawberry Fair takes place in Texas between Hell and Theory (fictional towns). Angelico is quite near. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, suffice to say there is one.

The story is told from two POVs. The first one is a role-playing geek who decided to take RL (Real Job). The other is, probably, an angel.

Marshall describes himself accurately as a day-dreaming air-head space cadet and a perpetual student fantasy-fan who can imagine absolutely anything except a serious life.

Cai is more bad-ass and she has a mission. Actually, it seems Marshall is her mission. Yes, there’s a Higher Plan at work here.

There are also zombies, angels, Antlered Man, Queen of the night, and a lot of other creatures who meet at the fair. There comes a moment when it’s difficult to say if we read about magic folk pretending to be mortal or mortals pretending to be fantasy-folk. At fair almost everyone wears a mask.

The story depicts a blooming romance. It does it in a subtle and innocent way. Holding hands, stealing a kiss is all our heroes want (at least on the book’s pages).

While there is a story to be told, the charm of the book lies elsewhere – in moments and emotions caught in sentences, often humorous. When Marshall meets perfect security guard, he describes him in the following way:
If he stood on a Halloween doorstep he’d be handed all the candy. If he stood next to ninja turtle girl, she’d burst into tears and run.
And there’s this charming quote about a couple sharing dark chocolate:
He unwrapped the chocolate, offering me half first. What a gentleman. I took the larger half.
And if you want to read a quote about people who live to role-play, well, you have to read the book.

What I want to say is this – it’s a book that’s (at least to me) focused more on catching the moments, playing with language (being fair at fair or waiting for firemen from Hell are just two examples) and speaking about naïve and innocent youth discovering love.

So while it’s possible to feel there’s little moral to the story, it’s also fair to note that you’ll probably smile more than once along the way.

Just don’t expect too much boom-boom. You’ll get some, just enough to push the tempo a bit. But not too much.

Overall, it was an interesting book outside my usual choice of genre. The plot doesn’t move at breakneck speed and yet remains entertaining in a subtle way.



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