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Graeme Douglas (Kent, UK)

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Cat Eyed Boy
Cat Eyed Boy
by Kazuo Umezu
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.24

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't give up, Cat Eyed Boy!, 22 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Cat Eyed Boy (Paperback)
Rejected by both humans and demons, Cat Eyed Boy lives a hidden existence on the edges of society. Trouble - always of the supernatural variety - follows him everywhere he goes, and his life is essentially a string of macabre events interspersed with occasional moments of dark comedy; helping the needy whilst letting the guilty get what (inevitably gruesome) retribution karma decides.

Created in the late sixties by legendary manga master Kazuo Umezu (The Drifting Classroom), Cat Eyed Boy still feels fresh, portraying a dark, dreamlike vision of a half-real Japan that instantly sucks you in leaves you in a daze, almost believing that the cheeky little halfling could be living upstairs in a dark corner of your attic, protecting you from some abominable malevolence just waiting to pick you off in the middle of the night.

Beautiful art, sparky dialogue, and cracking stories make this a must read if you're even remotely into manga, and even if you're not, it's such good fun that it could be the book that gets you hooked.

The Seance. A Novel
The Seance. A Novel
by John Harwood
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evoking the spirit of Victorian nastiness, 22 Oct. 2008
This review is from: The Seance. A Novel (Hardcover)
Elegantly written, clearly well-researched and downright creepy, The Seance both excites and intrigues from the first page.

As the mystery unfolds through the different first-person narratives around which the story is structured, the reader is sucked into the dark underbelly of Victorian society which seems so real you can almost taste the Cholera.

Whilst not out and out frightening, the chills are created by implication and suggestion, and the author does a fantastic job of keeping his audience constantly on edge without ever resorting to major shocks.

The only reason it's not a five-star rating is that whilst promising so much throughout, the denouement is a tiny bit predictable. But as the journey that takes you there is so enthralling, it's bordering on the churlish to dwell on that minor (subjective) fault too much.

Oh, and the cover design is absolutely beautiful.

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