Under the Harrow

Under the Harrow

A Novel

Book - 2012
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Dingley Dell is a self-contained valley peopled by orphans, whose guardians abandoned them with only an encyclopedia and the works of Charles Dickens. From these beginnings comes a Victorian society whose limited trade with outsiders raises more question than it answers. Those who leave rarely return or are considered mad. The beginning drags a bit as the residents try to figure out what the reader already knows, but the tide turns and comes in fast once a runaway returns to the valley. Scribe-for-hire Trimmers and his friends, amateur sleuths disguised as a poetry society, discover that their strange world will come to a quick and bloody end unless they act.
Publisher: San Francisco, CA : MacAdam/Cage, 2012.
Edition: Pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9781596923775
Branch Call Number: Fic Dunn
Characteristics: 554 p. ; 23 cm.


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SFPL_danielay Jul 24, 2015

The people of Dingley Dell have lived their lives in a Victorian-era idyll cut off from the rest of the world after a plague made it unsafe to leave their valley. But is that the truth? Slowly we and the residents of Dingley Dell learn the truth in this fascinating Dickensian sci-fi novel.

May 30, 2012

A valley entirely shut off from the rest of the planet for over a hundred years, Dingley Dell derives its entire knowledge of the world from a Victorian edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the collected works of Charles Dickens. The story of its gradual awakening to the scary and bloody world outside is related by Frederick Trimmers, an inhabitant of the seemingly idyllic but ultimately shadowy village. Wonderful use of Dickensian style, and delightful comedy arising from the clash of Victorian and 21st-century values. Mark Dunn excoriates the shabby cheapness and violence of our times all the more effectively by never preaching but simply placing the real and the possible side by side. Readers of Ella Minnow Pea, Ibid, and Dunn’s other novels won’t be disappointed in the inventiveness and high spirits on display here


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