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'Far Far Away': A dark tale of a boy, his ghost and a bakery

By Kathleen Duncan
Feb. 19, 2014 at 3:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 18, 2014 at 8:19 p.m.


It is like walking down an empty starlight road in the middle of the night. It is quiet; it is solitary. You marvel at the comfort a cool breeze and a silent evening can provide. That is, until you hear a sound behind you. And you wonder, just for a second, if everything is about to go terribly wrong.

"Far Far Away" by Tom McNeal is a dark, fantastical tale about a boy, his ghost, his recluse father, his love and a bakery.

Jeremy Johnson Johnson is haunted by a friendly ghost named Jacob Grimm, one of the Brothers Grimm who collected the fairy tales of old. Jacob keeps the reserved, friendless boy company in the small town of Never Better.

Jeremy lives and works in the Two Book Bookstore, a bookstore that stocks only his grandfather's two books and never sells a copy. As his father hides away in the dark watching TV and avoiding the outside world, they slowly fall further and further into debt and ruin.

Thankfully, hopeless and unusual circumstances inspire fateful adventures.

A young, rambunctous lady named Ginger bounces her way into Jeremy's life right when all might be lost.

One day, Ginger is eating a delectable cake, a cake that is mythical in its magical ability to make one fall in love with the first person one looks upon. And, as we might all guess, Ginger looks upon Jeremy.

As they get to know each other, reading fairy tales in Jeremy's attic and running about town late into the night, a harmless prank takes a dark turn. They inadvertently stumble into the clutches of evil.

Jacob realizes too late the wickedness that he was supposed to protect Jeremy from. And as the Grimm brothers know best, not all fairy tales have a happy ending.

"Far Far Away" is a whimsical story reminiscent of the fairy tales we read as a child beneath our blankets on stormy nights - where evil may be shrouded in innocence and goodness may be hidden in unlikely creatures, where we may learn too late that our kindly grandma may be just a sweet old lady, or she may be a wolf who will eat us, bite by bite.

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