YOK by Tim Davys


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From the mysterious Swede behind the pseudonym Davys, a lively fourth book of sophisticated Aesopian fables set in a city much like those of the modern West, except for the fact that it's populated by walking, talking stuffed animals.

Like its predecessors, the final volume of the Mollisan Town quartet (it began in 2007 with Amberville, followed by Lanceheim and Tourquai) is set in a specific district, in this case the seedy, down-at-the-heels Yok. The book consists of four long stories. In “Sors,” the brutish restaurateur/racketeer Dragon Aguado Molina throws barriers in the way of the dashing but dim Fox Antonio Ortega, who, hopelessly smitten, seeks the hand of the dragon’s daughter, Beatrice Cockatoo. In “Pertiny,” long-suffering Erik Gecko, brewery worker and abused younger brother, tries to help his siblings and tormentors, Leopold Leopard and Rasmus Panther, chase their dream of TV-newsreader stardom—and gropes toward finding a way out for himself. “Corbod” features a dissatisfied rock guitarist, Mike Chimpanzee, and a genie who enjoins him to come up with three wishes. While Mike struggles to come up with suitably nonmaterialistic items, the two ("Cloud" and "Mr. Rock Star Ape," as they refer to each other) bicker. The entertaining “Mindie,” told in overlapping documents and testimonies, features Vincent Hare, a brooding self-styled philosopher who's achingly aware that time is always slipping away: “I’m in a bit of a hurry,” he says again and again. Davys makes ingenious use both of traditional folktales and of his conceit, and the book is charming, but at times it does feel a bit like a grab bag.

An intriguing mix of fable, philosophy and witty fun.

Pub Date: July 31st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-179747-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012


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