I’ve read a number of comparisons between Red Lory and old Hitchcock films, but if I had to draw a literary parallel, Douglas Howard reminds me the most of Ethan Allen Hawley in the Steinbeck’s Winter of Our Discontent. It has the texture and feel of a film from the 1940s, and I couldn’t help but imagine much of it in black and white, except for the bird, which was clearly Technicolor.
Red Lory is not a light read, though its very short length might lead you to think so, at first. In fact, it has heavy undertones, dealing with love, family misunderstandings, and above all moral questions of right and wrong.
The book is very understated in its emotional tone and intentionally leaves unanswered questions and thought provoking moments, though toward the end there are a couple of gasp worthy moments. Dave Newell is very economical and careful about every word, and they are executed perfectly. Well worth reading more than once.
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