The Bean Sidhe
Percy thought he had life all figured out. Get a good education, get a steady job and keep it, find a hard working, thrifty lady, keep her, save your money, retire early, simple. However, people and life are never simple and it wasn’t until his steady, hard working lady packed their used Honda and drove away, did he realize that he hadn’t planned for unexpected eventualities. Feeling used, abused and betrayed, he did what anyone in a similar situation would do. Percy decided to kill someone. Now it wasn’t just anyone, and it wasn’t anything personal. He was doing it for someone else who was used, abused and betrayed. Seemed like a good idea at the time, the movies made it look easy enough. Turns out assassination isn’t something you learn on the job. Things went from bad to worse in no time, and the hardest part being keeping the whole mess secret.
Bean Sidhe (banshee) is a
Gaelic spirit whose wailing warns of a death in the house
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Disillusioned with his life, Percy quickly learns that murder isn't nearly as easy to carry out as it's sometimes made to seem.
In THE BEAN SIDHE, Ernest L Canning’s writing instantly shocks with its wit, precision, and self-awareness. In the space of a few scenes, his characters manage to emerge as both flawed and compelling, establishing the trajectory of their own narratives. It’s when they collide with reality that friction ensues. This idea proves particularly thrilling when contrasted against the graininess of the plot, which needles the characters with its endless unravelment. The unbalancing comes in the form of numerous bursts of violence, which disturb the characters’ plans as much as they help the story progress. Even the most shocking acts of aggression carry an undertone of humor, though, giving the mayhem an absurdist edge that makes THE BEAN SIDHE’s design so exhilarating.
The story isn’t broken up into chapters, but deliberately drawn scenes, creating a flow of events that mimics the rush of a stream of consciousness. The reader is hauled along at breakneck speed, leaping from one character to the next as the perspective on the events changes. As a result, the overlapping points of the narrative can be admired in all their comedy-inducing glory. Among other things, they heighten the appeal of the unfolding mystery, showing how the characters interconnect and influence each others’ lives, often unknowingly. The stitching of the main murder reflects the ineptitude of its perpetrator, further adding to the comedy of errors that makes up THE BEAN SIDHE’s form. The effect is, naturally, quite hilarious.
Percy is a well-crafted protagonist, particularly in light of his imperfections, which neutralize the severity of most of his transgressions. His attachment to his Tilley hat, a recurring topic of many characters’ fascination, only adds to his appeal. What’s most impressive about THE BEAN SIDHE is its command over its unique blend of tension and farce. From the first page, the action tempts and seduces. What follows is a sprint toward the next scene, then the next rib-splitting laugh. When the final destination is reached, it proves to be a bittersweet achievement, since the journey was so pleasing.
Ernest L Canning has crafted a fast-paced, thrilling, and riotous examination of the many ways in which human will is trumped by chance and circumstance. Jovially and cleverly written, THE BEAN SIDHE is a breath of fresh air.
~Neil Czeszejko for IndieReader