Review: Little Hands Clapping

Little Hands Clapping by Dan Rhodes is pretty much what you’d expect from this fantastic cover: strange and funny.

This starts with the setting, a suicide museum in Germany. It is actually supposed to be a museum that wants to dissuade unhappy people from committing suicide but does not succeeds in this at all! And so the old man, the museum’s guard, has to get up early every so often to call the doctor and take care of a body. The doctor’s way of taking care of the bodies involves a giant freezer!

The second story revolves around Mauro and Magdalena the two most beautiful children of a small village in Portugal. It seems quite natural to everyone that they were meant for each other, and they seem to think so, too, until they move to the city to study and things change. You can imagine how these two stories might connect.

This isn’t a novel that is very strong plot-wise, what could have been shocking twists are instead revealed pretty soon and without much flourish, which makes them all the more disturbing somehow. Despite all the horror that is going on in this novel, it’s really about love and human relationships. Magdalena’s story was very engaging and I also found that although these characters are created as bizarre and often whimsical, there’s something very touching and heart-warming about them.

I’m wondering what it says about me that in novel that features incest, necrophilia, cannibalism and suicides, what disturbed me most was the eating of spiders. Yuck! But then I read Roald Dahl’s twisted tales for adults when I was about eleven, it’s hard to be  disturbed by anything else after that. Also, Rhodes is funny (you know, in a creepy and  twisted sort of way)!

Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I’ll add a link!

18 thoughts on “Review: Little Hands Clapping

    1. That calls for a reread of Kiss, Kiss 🙂 I just love how publishers in the US and the UK come up with such amazing covers,.

  1. Nice review, Bina! This looks like an interesting book. The love story of Mauro and Magdalena is quite interesting – I can’t wait to find out what happens to them after they get to university.

  2. If there is such a thing as a book that is delightfully macabre, this sounds like it! I know I’ve heard about this one on another blog, but forgot all about it… Thanks for the reminder! This sounds like a book that would jive with my weird sense of humor.

  3. Wow this sounds like an interesting book. I’m curious to see what I make of the author’s creepy, twisted sense of humour… Will definitely add it to my TBR list.

    1. Hope you’ll enjoy it! I think although this is a strange tale it’s also full of whimsy and it’s not as outrageous and creepy as it may sound.

  4. Ah what a wicked sounding novel! It’s tempting because of it’s wickedness, which is tempered by this fragile love story in the middle 🙂

    1. Heh, I’d definitely say it’s tempered. I mean it is pretty weird in parts but not too shocking, at least I wasn’t put off (but then I’ve recently reread American Psycho three times for a term paper, so I might be a bit hard to shock at the moment 😀 ).

    1. That does warrant a more importantly! 😉 Really, you need to hurry to the library and get Kiss, kiss. Also, the Dahl stories would make great Halloween reading 🙂

  5. You find the most interesting books! I’ve borrowed Strangers from the library.

    What does it say about me when I read “novel that features incest, necrophilia, cannibalism and suicides” I went – ‘oooooh’!!?!?! Eeek! And ew, spiders!

    1. I’m a cover junkie, that’s how I find most of the books I read.

      Heh, it say that now I don’t have to worry, I’m not the only weird one around here ;D I know, right…spiders!

  6. Such horrifying themes! I have been gone for 3 weeks and you wrote two reviews??!!
    Give me a hi-five! Both of us are part hibernating. 🙂

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