Saturday, October 22, 2011

Short Story: 'The Bordello In Faerie' by Michael Swanwick

 "The Bordello in Faerie" by Michael Swanwick


I have previously mentioned that Swanwick is a courageous and innovative writer who sometimes slips into an almost literary version of soft porn. "The Bordello in Faerie" is a typical 'sexed-up' Swanwick story but it is also Swanwick at his most sublime.

A young man, Ned, who starts out as a bit of a buffoon, becomes aware that on the other side of the bridge which separates the world of the mundane from that of the Faerie, there is a renowned brothel. He crosses over and keeps returning to the bordello as the readers' world  - and Ned's - is flipped midway through the story. I won't reveal any secrets here but it was the twist in the middle, as opposed to the dated twist at the end of many short stories, that had me completely.

The story does have its flaws: the afterwards may seem a bit too 'nice' to some readers and his brothel endeavours begin to drag.

In my view, the brilliance of the idea overides the tale's blemishes.

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