D (A Tale of Two Worlds) by Michel Faber [6/10]

D (A Tale of Two Worlds)” is the first YA novel from acclaimed stylist Michel Faber, but it very much fits into the “also suitable for adults” category, so I came to it expectant of the pleasures of books from, say, Phillip Pullman. And so it turned out to be, Faber crafting a fable reminiscent of the Narnia classics but laced with Dickensian shadows. Dhikilo, a teenage refugee from Africa living in England, is roped in by an absent-minded professor to jump to a strange land (partnered with the professor’s dog who is also, naturally, a sphinx) in search of the theft of the letter “D” from the world. The plot bolts along with numerous entertaining adventures of the type one would expect, strange creatures proliferate, and much fun is had with “D”-less words. Dialogue throughout is a treat and a certain modernity is referenced in asides.. Faber is an artisan of the varied style, and in this novel he adopts an earnest, YA-ish clarity with undertones of enough sophistication to keep adults amused. The tale smoothly concludes with pleasing results and overall, D (A Tale of Two Worlds) is a stylish, energetic romp.

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