The Courage Consort (2004) In contrast to the frisky plumpness of The Crimson Petal and the White , his 2002 panorama of low-life Victorian London, the three novellas in… 2004-11-01 Fiction Harcourt
Book Review

The Courage Consort (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Nov 01, 2004; Writer: Michael Faber; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Harcourt

In contrast to the frisky plumpness of The Crimson Petal and the White, his 2002 panorama of low-life Victorian London, the three novellas in The Courage Consort are determinedly narrow and severe. In the title piece, a vocal ensemble holes up in a chateau for a prolonged rehearsal; this chamber piece is a nicely claustrophobic (but somewhat musty) study of romantic disharmony. Likewise, ''The Hundred Ninety-Nine Steps'' — set in the head of an archaeologist with her own painful history to excavate — quietly gets by on heavy atmosphere. Only ''The Fahrenheit Twins,'' a triumphantly weird allegory about two ghostly kids living in the Arctic circle, shows the outsize feistiness familiar to readers of Faber's big hit.

Originally posted Oct 29, 2004 Published in issue #790 Oct 29, 2004 Order article reprints