Faun by Joe Hill
I am slowly working my way through the Joe Hill anthology Full Throttle. I’m reading a short between every book. And this time around the story is Faun. So here is my review of Faun by Joe Hill
So what is the tale about? It’s a strange concept, yet brilliant one. The idea is, "What if the world of Narnia was discovered by a rich big game hunter instead of young innocent children?" Stockman, his son Peter and his best friend Christian love big game hunting. They love traveling the world and hunting animals. But rich big game hunter Mr. Charn give them an offer they can’t refuse. The hunter junkies can’t turn it down and least to say things don’t go well as it is typical in Joe Hill stories.
So the good? This is a very unique and brilliant concept. It plays with this “what if” Narnia scenario brilliantly. The character aren’t likable, but hard to entirely hate as well. With the exception of one character, they all do not seem instantly evil and their bad nature becomes clearer as the tale went on. I like this technique because with many other authors, they would just make them full on villains. Beyond that there’s an edge of darkness throughout I loved. There's one scene where characters eating the goat half of a faun because that’s not the human half. Then there's an another where fantasy creature heads were on display as trophies beside lions and rhinos. It has this dark Narnia vibe that love. The twist of the end fell in line with this tone and I loved it.
The bad? The story is great, but idea that it follows big game hunter may bother many. I know it will because big game hunters bother me. To buy an overpowered gun to shoot an endangered species from far away is a) a screwed up ego centric things to do and b) somewhat cowardly. It’s far from a sport in my book. But in this story, I let it not bother me. Because as much as I don’t like it, these people exist in the world and because they do, they can be a protagonist or antagonist in story just like anyone else. It is part of our world that there seems to be no changing at the moment. So if you’re offended by that and will not give the story a chance to see where it goes based on that perspective, I do get it. This story is not for everyone.
Overall, this is a fascinating concept. It’s just so inventive and its completely worth a read. The only caveat is that, if you’re an animal loving rights activist then you may be put off by the material. But I promise if you can tolerate it long enough to get to the heart of the story, the payoff is worth it. This is a great read.
4 ½ smoothies out of Five
Overall Rating: A Story that Follows Big Games Hunters Who Discover Narnia