Mirror the Thread

David H's mirror site

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Joe Hill, ‘The Devil on the Staircase’ (2010)
thisplacehere

And so, we reach the climax of the anthology, and this is a great way in which to end it. Hill tells of a boy who lives in Italy (towards, I’d surmise, the end of the 19th century), in a mountain village accessible only by a network of staircases cut into the cliffs. The boy has eyes for his cousin, Lithodora, and one day kills her lover in the heat of the moment. He then encounters a devil in the form of a child, who gives him a tin bird that sings a beautiful song when told lies.

Hill’s telling has the flow of a folktale; the rhythm of his prose is emphasised by the downward slopes in which the text is arranged on the page. Add to this a neat metaphorical undercurrent (the tin bird comes to represent the spread of propaganda), and you have a fine story indeed.

Rating: ****

Elsewhere
Joe Hill’s website

This post is part of a series on the anthology
Stories; click here to read the rest.

 


?

Log in

No account? Create an account