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Bad Dreams [Mass Market Paperback]

Kim Newman
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

5 April 1995
Anne Nielson, an American journalist, comes to London to investigate the strange death of her sister. Soon, she becomes sucked into a netherworld of corruption and perversion and is hurtled toward a final confrontation where she has only the dead as allies. From the author of Anno-Dracula.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc; Reprint edition (5 April 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786702273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786702275
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.7 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,586,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Kim Newman is a well known and respected author and movie critic. He writes regularly for Empire Magazine and contributes to The Guardian, The Times, Time Out and others. He makes frequent appearances on radio and TV. He has won the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy and British Science Fiction Awards and been nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a schlock horror, it has a well developed and pretty intricate plot that ties in the different members of the Nielson family - from the Nobel Laureate father Cameron (destroyed by the Monster in the McCarthy Hearings), to the drug taking, drop-out sister Judi (whose unpleasant death triggers the plot), to the genius half-brother composer Cameron Jnr (for whom the Monster was an evil childhood imaginary friend) to Anne herself, whose investigations into her sister's death bring her face to face with the monster. I will say however, that I found the tie-ins between the Monster and Cameron Jnr and Judi weren't nearly as well-thought out or satisfying as those with the father (which I found to be very imaginative and credible).

The Monster is given a strong background and sense of history, and he at least has a motivation for the whole killing, mind-sucking thing that you can buy. I particularly liked the backstory relating to his existence as the King of Cats and his apparent demise at the hands of three warriors - very chilling. Where I thought the Monster fell down though was in the motivation for his hatred of the Nielsons. It seems to stem essentially from his wanting revenge against an Older Monster who was serving as patron to Cameron Snr and rather than go against her, he decides to take it out on Cameron, Snr and his family. As motivations go, it's a little tenuous and whilst I understand the Monster wanting to suck the genius out of Cameron, Snr, I don't get why he wanted the waster daughter, Judi.

Where it falls apart for me is in the final section where the Monster weaves a nightmare scenario for Anne based on her father's most famous play and forces her to believe that she's a character within that production.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuine horror, well written 1 Nov 2000
By Geoffrey Brent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although this is a 'vampire' story by the same guy who gave us _Anno Dracula_, the tone is very different. _AD_ was action/intrigue, with some horrific elements, but _Bad Dreams_ is out-and-out horror. The story centers on the Neilson family, all of whom are victims of 'Mr. Skinner' at one time or another; this vampire enjoys ruining lives as much as he enjoys taking them. In the search for the killer of her sister Judi, Anne Neilson enters a subculture of sex and drugs that would be nasty enough _without_ a supernatural evil hiding in it. Somewhere along the way, she gets drawn into the vampire's dreamworld; unlike a lot of stories that have used similar devices, this one manages to make the dreamworld convincing. It's not for the squeamish, but it's a good horror novel.
Kim Newman trivia: this book may be unique among Newman's novels in that - as far as I can tell - it's the _only_ one in which the characters are all his own creations.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but way different 12 May 2005
By Blake Petit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A big fan of Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula" series, I thought this book would be worth a read. It's much more of a straight horror novel than AD is, without the whimsical use of characters and real-life figures from throughout history. I didn't expect to see that, but I didn't expect the book to be quite as dark as it is either.

Newman doesn't completely abandon his tendency to use real people and events in this book -- he delves heavily into the spectre of the McCarthy anti-communism hearings and Marlon Brando and Martin Landau both make appearances of a sort, but for the most part this story is very much of his own creation. An American journalist in London finds her sister murdered and dessicated and seeks out the strange culture that led to her death.

The book is much darker, gorier and more explicit than I've come to expect from Newman, and while I don't fault him for trying something different (no writer wants to be pigeonholed, after all), it's not really my kind of book either. So it's well written, well done, just not really for me.
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