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Review by Vanessa Maki

Psychedelic and Experimental: The House of Wonders

Experimental work isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it happens to be mine and Harley Claes fully embraces the experimental with her book The House of Wonders. Which combines both visual elements and written to create a unique story.

The book maintains its psychedelic nature from beginning to the end. And Teddy Reeves (the main character) is experiencing his own end - death. His journey through limbo is not only interesting but thought provoking as well. This book makes one think about the concept of limbo, death and the journey that comes along with it. Something people don’t generally like to touch in their everyday life. Unless it happens to fascinate them, which in this case The House of Wonders is the perfect read. Claes doesn’t falter with her descriptive language and her poetic voice shines in a trippy way that’ll keep you questioning what’s really happening. And essentially that’s the point of the book. It’s about piecing the puzzle together and finding your own meaning within the pages and the story. Rather than being outright about Teddy’s death and how it happened. At least not until the end of the story where the twist is revealed. It’s a recommended reading for anyone who is interested in the esoteric, the concept of what comes after and the need to understand it all.

Vanessa Maki is a queer writer, artist & blk feminist whose work has appeared or will appear in various places.  She has self-published a handful of chapbooks & currently has two forthcoming in 2020: sweet like limes (Bone & Ink Press) & the chosen one (Animal Heart Press). 

The House of Wonders Author: Harley Claes

Description: The House of Wonders is a puzzle in the form of an experimental short story. The reader must put together the story with its clues that at the end are further explained. The formatting is a visual expression of the ever-changing mind. It follows the story of a boys journey to understanding the truth.

Purchase The House of Wonders on Etsy.

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