Other Kingdoms - Richard Matheson

**** Unusual but pleasant

What I like about Matheson is that every time in his books he manages to bring out something original that transcends genres, but at the same time each of them has in common with others a series of elements linked to the style, to the characteristics of the protagonists and to the total unpredictability of the stories, which eschew any cliché.
“Other Kingdoms” is a fable that mixes elements of fantasy, romance and history, and that does not develop or end as you would expect.
Among the elements that made me appreciate this novel is the colloquial and often ironic tone with which the young protagonist narrator addresses the reader. Between the two, there is a sort of complicity fuelled by the curiosity to read which other absurdity the former will invent on the next page.
In addition to this is the historical reconstruction, although limited by the point of view of the protagonist, who manages to take us to the trenches of the First World War and then to a village in England.
And then there are fantasy elements (in this case fairies and witches) that are mixed with reality.
Everything is put together with a narrative in the form of a report, which I had already seen in “Somewhere in Time”. Compared to the latter “Other Kingdoms” is less successful in the scope of the suspension of disbelief. Not even for a moment I forgot that I was reading an invented story, despite the fact that the protagonist repeated that it was all true. Indeed, precisely for this reason. But then I think it was what the author wanted, because he, already in old age, wrote this story in honour of his wife Ruth Ann (from whom the fairy creature Ruthana takes her name), as he says in the dedication. And as such, it must be considered.
I appreciate even more this author precisely because of this decision to write a book that he felt his own, rather than something that would have pleased the public. I only regret that now I will have one less book by him to read.


Other Kingdoms on Amazon.