Rhys Hughes, The Smell of Telescopes. Eibonvale Press, 2008. Pp. 464. £22.99.Reviewed by Sarah Ann Watts
‘I arched an eyebrow. It remained arched for the rest of the day – I was determined to anticipate any more impossibilities. Sighing, I made an appeal: “Has anyone got any bright ideas? Wan ones will suffice.”’
So speaks Giovanni Ciao, narrator of ‘The Hush of Falling Houses’ and citizen of Lladloh in just one of the twenty six interlaced stories that make up The Smell of Telescopes. It isn’t easy to read 460 pages with an arched eyebrow but it might be prudent. However I defy anyone to anticipate the trove of ‘impossibilities’ that this collection contains and that Rhys Hughes lays out so generously for our delectation and delight. Wan ideas may suffice for Giovanni but his creator is unlikely to settle for anything so mundane – these stories are all amusing, inventive and absurd.