Monday, May 05, 2008
Block, Francesca Lia. 1998. Dangerous Angels: The Weezie Bat Books.
Dangerous Angels is an all-in-one edition of the five Weetzie Bats books: Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, and Baby Be Bop. Not all books are narrated by Weetzie Bat. In fact, most of them aren't--three of them are narrated by Weetzie Bat's children. What can I say about this series of books? Well, they're all bizarre. But bizarre in a strange-and-surreal-but-beautiful kind of way. They're very original, very unique, very postmodern. The first book, Weetzie Bat, was published in 1989. The remaining four books were published between 1991 and 1995. I would say that the books--especially the first one--were groundbreaking. These books were "edgy" before edgy became so common, so expected, so normal.
I don't believe that everyone will love this book. I would imagine that this is something that you will either love or hate. Block's characters break all the rules of society--broke all the rules of society I should say. And the vision of the world she creates is both harsh and hopeful. There is an ugliness, a painful awareness of hate, of fear, of anger, of "evil" if you will. But there is love and beauty there as well. It's just very bizarre. Weetzie is a character that creates her own family when she meets her best friend, Dirk. Dirk's grandmother, Fifi, gives her a lamp with a genie. "I wish for a Duck for Dirk, and My Secret Agent Lover Man for me, and a beautiful little house for us to live in happily ever after." And sure enough, Dirk gets a guy named Duck and Weetzie gets a boyfriend named My Secret Agent Lover Man. They also get Fifi's house after her sudden death. These four live as a family and bring in nontraditional ways two children into the world, Cherokee and Witch Baby. Family and friendship and love and life seen through various nontraditional perspectives. It's all surreal. Definitely layers of urban fantasy colliding with the real world.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews