Apart from having a ridiculously long title, this book is a one-of-a-kind that you will either love or hate.
Set in a fictional Victorian-inspired era of Europe, our hero Hercules Barefoot is born deaf, dumb and horribly disfigured. However, Hercules Barefoot also has the power to read people’s minds, and it’s this power which is both a gift and a curse in his long and miserable life.
Described as a love story, the majority of the book follows Hercules Barefoot searching for his one true love, Henriette, who he was dramatically parted from when she was ‘sold’ to a man in their youth.
Along the way the reader bears witness to the extreme prejudice, bullying and torture that Hercules Barefoot suffers as he struggles to be treated as an equal among his peers. But Hercules Barefoot is not equal, and it is is the curse that he must endure that comes hand-in-hand with his astonishing gift.
I have to say I was really, really disappointed with this book, and it’s one that I would never be inclined to read again. The pace of the story enraged me; you’ll find the author slowly building up to something intense an important – only to race through and jump to the next Chapter in Hercules’ life.
One thing I can’t deny however, is that this book is charged, atmospheric and thought-provoking – and all other reviewers have praised this read until they are blue in the face. If anyone else has read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts – please comment!(2 / 5)