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Tobias Murran "the_tenant"

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The Possessions of Doctor Forrest
The Possessions of Doctor Forrest
by Richard Kelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A possession to regret, 25 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
According to amazon's guide as to what makes a good review, one of the points is, "What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the product?". In the case of The Possessions of Doctor Forrest, I would have liked to have known how poorly executed the novel is. There is little distinction between the narrative voices, a serious flaw in a novel that relies on journal entries and letters for its telling. And while I have no difficulty accepting the supernatural framework, dialogue that reads like prose does nothing to encourage a belief in the world of the novel. Nor does a letter in which a mother writes of the death of her son, dwelling in absurd detail on the physical manifestations of his suffering, with nothing to suggest that this is a "real" person who has just suffered a tragic loss. It is at moments like these that exposition takes over from character. The one aspect of the story that could have been interesting if hinted at through the course of the novel is thrown away in the title itself. No scares, and no surprises. (Other than amazon insisting that I go by the name of "the tenant", and have published other reviews under this name. On the other hand, this is more mysterious than anything that takes place in The Possessions of Doctor Forrest.)


The Cliff of Suicide
The Cliff of Suicide

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are you death-obsessed, but still sensitive? Read on..., 27 Jan. 2004
This review is from: The Cliff of Suicide (Audio CD)
Despite having a name to make you cringe (I guess it resonates differently in Italian), the music of this male/female duo is anything but obvious. Intricate and richly textured, it blends elements of neo-classicism, folk, middle-eastern music, and (inevitably) goth, but is so well-crafted that it avoids cliche. The only clumsy track for me is The Monk, which veers into Carmina Burana territory (Orff's, not the original). The lyrical content is serenely dark, ranging from death to faeries. I imagine sunbathing is not high on their list of favourite pastimes. The title track itself comprises reflections on a cliff used as a launching pad into the afterlife.
The female voice is fabulous, and can erect the hairs on the back of your neck. Capable of an almost operatic intensity, it never becomes shrill, and the singer does not abuse her gifts for dizzying melisma, but harnesses their variety in the service of the song. The male voice, by contrast, could come from the dead. Yet its deep, almost lifeless quality has a charm of its own, at least in the brief appearances on this album.
Think of a sweeter Dead Can Dance, or a less insular Sopor Aeternus, but purely for terms of reference. The world of Gothica is very much their own.


Song of Kali
Song of Kali
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Paperback

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fears and tears, 6 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Song of Kali (Paperback)
As with other novels by Dan Simmons, the worst horror is the reality so movingly depicted. The real monster is Calcutta, a city dedicated to Kali, goddess of death, with its open morgues and its fresh dead on the morning streets - something that should be dead, but putrefyingly persists. This is not the only source of horror, however - at least one scene in an unlit room had me reading with my hand over my mouth in fear. And the ending is heartbreakingly desolate. As Mr Simmons says, don't blame him that his books are marketed as horror, and don't blame him for the artwork. He is a highly literate author whose novels are driven by character, not incident. A satisfyingly frightening and surprisingly moving read.


The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions: Experience-centred Study of Supernatural Assault ... of The American Folklore Society)
The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions: Experience-centred Study of Supernatural Assault ... of The American Folklore Society)
by David J. Hufford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.50

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Terror that comes whenever you happen to be reading this, 6 Jan. 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a stringent investigation into the folkloric phenomenon of 'The Night Hag', particularly as it manifests in Newfoundland. Mr Hufford thoroughly explains his investigative methods, and although necessary for his purposes, this can be a little frustrating when you're just waiting for the bits where the hairs on the back of your neck start to rise. And they do.
The fact that Mr Hufford approaches his subject so rationally makes the phenomenon his interviewees have encountered all the more frightening; as does the conversational tone in which the horrors are recounted.
This book was recommended to me by a friend, who, like me, is not easily scared. (In fact, for middle-aged men we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find art that frightens.) You find yourself staring uncomfortably at open doorways, and checking your body for signs of incipient paralysis. If you want the extra frisson of reading it just before sleep, you get to enjoy a newfound reluctance in turning out the light. Then you lie there, convinced that your breath is not coming as easily as usual, and half-expecting a presence to coalesce from the waiting dark.
Mr Hufford maintains an admirable open-mindedness throughout, and his soberly delivered conclusion does little to comfort. As an incidental bonus, you also learn why mermaids are no longer seen.
Buy it, and wait for the night.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2009 12:27 AM GMT


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