Having enjoyed other Brian Aldiss stories I thought I'd give this one a try even though the cover was a bit off putting. I know, you should never judge a book by it's cover, but the monster on the front, man with cloak, beautiful woman in graceful dress, made for a pretty accurate impression.
This book is a fantasy, set either in the distant imaged future or distant imagined past. We follow an actor as he lives his life within the small city, making ends meet, meeting and seducing attractive women, endeavouring to leave the working classes and become part of the ruling classes. The story is inventive, the description brings the city and strange animals to life in vivid detail. It has a quality of realism that works surprisingly well with the fantasy background.
This isn't the sort of book I'd normally read but it more than held my attention, I couldn't wait to turn the next page. Rootie Rating 3 out of 5 - Fantasy is not my thing but the writing style saved it.