Click Here To Purchase (S)mythology

Author: Jeremy Tarr

Publisher: The Big Head
ISBN: 978-0-9830906-0-1

The unexpected awaits around every turn –and there are quite a few – in Jeremy Tarr’s (S)mythology, a modern day fairy tale that quite boldly goes where its predecessors haven’t . By turns sad, silly and philosophical, (S)mythology  borrows its structure  from classic Greek theater (even ending, appropriately enough, on a stage) , boasts an ensemble cast of thousands – from a hip post-modern Poseidon and a surly Golgotha to zombie fishmen and the  batty old guru who built Stonehenge – and  makes some astute observations on the nature of myths, the  ceaseless quest for  happiness, and the quiet heroism of the life ordinary.  (“Perhaps that’s all it takes to create a fairy tale”, Tarr suggests. “Living.”)

name is Sophie. Don’t look at her. So begins Tarr’s chronicle of the life and surprising times of its heroine, “..born from the foam of the sea”, who first washes up on the threshold of a Mr. Trinity, possessed of little more than that warning and the curse that goes with it.  For it is Sophie's burden to turn to stone anyone who gazes upon her with love. Having swiftly calcified her adoptive father, she is then raised by his butler, the conveniently blind Mr. Tiktok and, after the odd mishap  at school, brought up in utter isolation in the cavernous depths of their home. But what can a man called Tiktok do, but succumb to the hands of Time, and soon after she turns twenty one, Sophie is forced out into the world.  Almost at once, she meets the handsome and artistic Smyth and seems all set for her happily ever after. But there is the curse to reckon with after all, and Sophie  becomes a modern day Orpheus to Smyth’s Eurydice as she travels down into Purgatory – and Smyth’s mysterious past - to trick Death and fetch her lover  back .

And fetch him she does, but while love may be blind – and must be, for Sophie - it is never simple, nor  life..” written by Hans Christian Andersen.” Abandoned soon after by an angst-ridden Smyth, Sophie survives heartbreak to embark on her next journey, as a wife and mother. But the shadow of Smyth hangs heavy on her life and, with Death dogging her footsteps, Sophie again sets out to shake free from their hold.  In a world of fickle lovers, where even Cupid succumbs to cupidity, Sophie grows from wide eyed innocent to tragic heroine, before gracefully accepting her fate in a great gaudy spectacle celebrating the riotous journey that has been her life.

(S)mythology  is fresh and irreverent,  but does drag  its feet at times, almost reluctant to transport its intriguing heroine to the destiny that awaits her. The plot evolves organically, and may confound the odd reader. But, like the grainy and unconventional illustrations by Katy Smail , it is precisely this slant eyed view that makes its subject so intriguing.

Best read while listening to Cat Stevens.

Click Here To Purchase (S)mythology