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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't Fowler on the best seller's list?, 19 April 2004
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Mr. Od Smith "d2kvirus" (Coulsdon, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Demonized (Paperback)
t's starting to get me worried about how undervalued Fowler is - his full-length books are some of the best, paciest horror novels written in the past decade, and his collections of short stories never fail to impress. Yet, he isn't recognised for his genius outside the select few.
Rant aside, once again we have a fine collection of short stories on offer, although lacking the edge of the Uncut selection, they also show that Fowler has branched out into different forms of storywriting. This is clear from the first tale, We;re Going Where The Sun Shines Brightly, which is an idyllic look back to a trip around France on a double decker. OK, so it's still pretty dark in the final third, yet you don't see it coming - let alone expect something like it.
Of course, there are some classic Fowleresque stories on offer, such as Seven Feet (in my opinion, the best story in the book - although not for those with rat allergies), The Green Man and Hop are all great horror tales that conjour up lurid images of the events. Other stories also stick with the urban paranoia Fowler usually exhibits, such as American Waitress and Above the Glass Ceiling, which work very well in drawing the reader in.
Yet the departures from his usual style make this book memorable. The most notable of these are One Night Out, which is a well-written story involving a man's father returning from the dead for, you guessed it, one night, while Emotional Response is a fantastic story of two women jilted in love, plotting their revenge (no, not involving weapons, just a broken heart), that conveys the main character's spite and heartbreak so well. Meanwhile, Feral is a nice, quick and easy joke about urban foxes, pigeons and bin bag murderers, The Scorpion Jacket is a work of twisted fantasy about tailoring and ancient Constantinople, and Hitler's Houseguest being an interesting curio. However, the final tale, Cairo 6.1, feels to be a bit of a let-down when compared to the rest, as the big twist is given away far to early, and isn't saved by the punchline.
Not quite the absolute best of Fowler, but a very worthwhile addition to the collection. Now, can they hurry up and get the Disturbia picture off the ground, so he can enjoy some long-overdue success and plaudits?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fowler back at his best, 22 Mar 2004
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This review is from: Demonized (Paperback)
I can't begin to say how glad I am that Christopher Fowler's short stories are back on track after the disappointing 'Personal Demons'. 'Demonized' is a totally brilliant compendium of dark stories which will leave you feeling both emotional and gratified. From Fowler's opening introduction into how some of the stories were written to the very closing pages you will not be disappointed. Each story gets better and better with the turn of a page, my personal favourites are 'Hop' about a man who believes the soul of a dead murderess out for revenge is hopping into the bodies of children including his own daughter and 'Personal Space' about an 80 something old lady whose house gets taken over by drug addicts. These are just two examples of superbly written dark fiction demonstrating a different type of horror, the horror of mankind; what we do to ourselves and each other. Nothing is better than the feeling you get after reading a really excellent book, and this is no exception. The stories are not all full of hardship and sorrow, as Fowler says in his intro, some have a happy ending, some a sad one, and others are left open. A well deserved 5 stars! Welcome back Fowler!
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Demonized
Demonized by Christopher Fowler (Paperback - 15 Jan 2004)
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