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Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism

Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism: A NovellaFather Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism: A Novella by Mike Mignola
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an enjoyable and breezy tale that is, at heart, about the toll of war on a nation and its children, couched in a religious discussion of free will and responsibility, and topped off with some creepy puppet action. Golden and Mignola do a good job setting up the characters, particularly Father Gaetano as the new priest at a Catholic orphanage full of children who’ve lost their families to the war, a man who never doubts his service to God but who is also subject to some very human feelings of frustration, irritability, and desire. There is a sly rebuttal to the idea of free will built into the story, as even when the puppets lose their strings they are still rigidly beholden to what they were made to be, but that may be over-interpreting the authors’ intent. Ultimately, FATHER GAETANO’S PUPPET CATECHISM is a story more full of wonder and awe than horror or nihilism. Mignola’s illustrations throughout are charming. The book’s short length works to its advantage as well, keeping things moving at a good pace while never sacrificing character for plot. A fun, quick read.

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