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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Company’ is worthy of yours

    Don’t be intimidated by Karen Maitland’s book, “”Company of Liars,”” looming in the corner. The book’s 453 pages flutter by as natural as breathing – a walk in the park compared to the treacherous syntactical paths and smoggy verbiage Chaucer intended his readers to brave.

    Maitland’s play on “”The Canterbury Tales”” isn’t anything like the original. There’s no rhyme scheme or melodramatic characters that are as flat as the page on which they rest; and there are no medieval linguistics plaguing the plot and infecting those not partial to old text, with a slow and painful death.

    In “”Company of Liars”” the year is pushed up to 1348, where there is no contest for best story or any time to embark on pilgrimages. “”The old laws and the old order were crumbling about our ears. There was a new king and his name was pestilence. And he had created a new law – thou shalt do anything to survive,”” said Camelot, the narrator.

    A group of eight, infused with as much blood, sweat and complexity as the author who made them, become tangled in one another’s lives, struggling as much against repressed personal demons as the plague destroying England around them.

    Satire still weighs heavy, but with a new urgency attributed to Maitland’s startling and perverse plot. The story is still alive and gripping today, and that’s saying something.

    Star Rating: 4 out of 5

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