April 24th, 2008

there!, Hello

I've hardly lifted my finger from the bellpush when the when the intercom emits its boxy cough...

...and says "Hello?"

The Subject Line comes from the novel I finished reading last Friday...

31) Grin of the Dark by Ramsey Campbell (May 2008, Virgin Books, 404 pages).

I'm No Loser, the first chapter title of this Ramsey Campbell novel informs, and perhaps that may be the case for protagonist Simon Lester. However, his luck is certainly out. After the film magazine he was writing for finds itself on the ugly end of several libel suits, the stink of the magazine's legal woes follow poor Simon, hanging around him like an albatross and preventing his finding work writing about films. However, fortune or fate soon find they way into his life, when he gets a chance to work on a book length expansion of his own thesis on forgotten film actors. This, leads him onto the trail of one Tubby Thackery, silent film comedian, which alas leads to something much more chilling journey (from London to Manchester to Hollywood among other places) than Simon might have anticipated.

With The Grin of the Dark, Ramsey Campbell delivers a rather disturbing piece of fiction, one part comedy part, one part psychological horror story, one part supernatural tale, and the sum is a delightfully dark thing greater than its parts. As one might come to expect from Campbell, the narrative explores a psychology tugged past the fraying point and succeeds beautifully. A Horror Reader review will be made available soon.

On this past Monday, I also finished reading:
32) A Coven of Vampires by Brian Lumley (2007, Subterranean Press, 210 pages), reprinting a collection of fiction centering on the many forms of vampirism.

as well as

32 a) A Coven of Vampires: Bonus Chapbook by Lumley (2007, Subterranean Press, 24 pages) containing two more stories.