Monday, January 12, 2015

Babayaga by Toby Barlow

Bewitchingly Fun Read (Witches and Espionage)

Babayaga by Toby Barlow is a book about an older witch out for revenge on a younger witch, a mild American advertising man, another wound-up American who draws the other into a shady espionage plot, and a detective who gets caught up in the middle with outrageous consequences. 

This book had me under a spell right from the beginning.  It was such a fun read that I had a hard time putting it down. It was refreshingly imaginative with a fun and lively narrative and unexpected plot that wound its way through the streets of Paris in 1959. Although at times it was graphically gruesome and violent, the book as a whole was not a dark tramp through the underworld of witches and covens.  Each of the characters was unique and fully developed so in the end I felt like I really knew and understood them.  More than that, I liked them—even the evil, sour, old, sassy hag.

I give it a high-flying thumbs-up!

This was a book club selection and our members' biggest response was shoulder shrugs with some lukewarm enthusiasm.  Some (me) really liked it, others thought it was pretty good to ok. One member thought it was hard to get into, and someone threw in the word “tedious.”  Everyone agreed that the "songs" were definitely worth skipping over. They added nothing but confusion. On the other hand, everyone agreed the book was different in an intriguing kind of way.  One person said she liked the book more afterwards—not just because it ended.  She really liked Vidot, as we all did, and was curious if or how he would be transformed back from a flea.

This book met several of my 2015 Book Challenges: Read a book set in a foreign country; Read a book containing magic or supernatural events; Buy a book from your local bookstore.  

Happy Reading,


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1 comment:

  1. I did find this book hard to get into, however, I really enjoyed how all the characters developed at the end. It was quirky but good.