Chris Cran’s Apprentice is a wonderful little book which is beautifully
told and featuring one of the most amazing twists I think I have come
across in a long time.
I think the editor is spot on when she compares the writing style in this
book to being like monkeys scribbling gibberish. It has brilliant
characterisation and a fab storyline which immerses you in the period in
which it is set in Calgary, Alberta.
The story follows Al, a chimp with a talent for drawing and painting as he
goes on a journey into hell. He is the offspring of a father called King
Kong who is spotted for his talent by Cran who takes him on as his
apprentice and message therapist.
His life an as apprentice is an interesting one to follow. You see him as
he learns the business from the bottom up and follow him on journey to the
legendary Court Painter’s studio so he can learn how to assist Cran a
painter himself of kittens and big eyed children. As time goes on the
chimp starts to paint his own portraits and you start to see how he has a
special twist to his talent which outshines Cran’s. As people start to
notice this gift Al’s work becomes more and more popular to the point
where he gets the attention of the Court Painter. He then receives the
honour of being asked to produce a portrait of the Court Painter. Al takes
up the challenge which gains him even more admirers but still doesn’t
understand the implication of his gift.
The final section of the book is when the story twists after Cran
challenges Al to do a self portrait. I won’t go into what happens but will
tell you that it was very creepy and a little unsettling. Suffice to say
Cran does not come off looking like a good guy The best bit though was I
could have never guessed how the book was going to go.
Definitely a book I would recommend and certainly one to look out for when
it comes out in January.
Editors note: A copy of Chris Cran’s Apprentice was not made avaliable from the author without a fee however Treasures of the Court Painter was offered free for this photo opportunity.