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The Hand of Kornelius Voyt Paperback – 12 Mar 2013

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Limb of Satan 3 April 2013
By Eclectic Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although most known for his ghost stories, Oliver Onions (1873-1961) wrote some outstanding novels, most of which are out of print, and The Hand of Kornelius Voyt is a superb one that has just been reissued!

The Hand of Kornelius Voyt is in the tradition of Sheridan Le Fanu's Uncle Silas (1864), Forrest Reid's Uncle Stephen (1931), and Stephen Gilbert's The Burnaby Experiments (1952) in which an orphaned child is thrust into the care of a disturbing adult figure in which readers encounter elements of the macabre and the supernatural. Onions' novel is noteworthy for the subtlety of his writing and the slow buildup of suspense as well as the incredible persona of thirteen-year-old Peter Byles' mentor, the Herr Doktor. Both deaf and dumb, Kornelius Voyt has mastered sign language--a skill that is taught to Peter--but Peter soon discovers that the man "who lacks two faculties... has found another way," of communicating as well as other uncanny skills Voyt plans on teaching the boy.

Onions cleverly interjects gothic elements into The Hand of Kornelius Voyt and makes his novel all the more fascinating by having Peter as the narrator of events and enlivens the text by excerpts from entries from Voyt's journal. As Peter matures he begins to realize some of the powers that Herr Doktor possesses Peter has unknowingly already been taught and rather than fear the unnatural aspects of this knowledge, Peter eagerly embraces it. Thus begins the death of Peter's innocence, his neglected adolescence, and his passage into the preternatural world of Doctor Kornelius Voyt.

With subtlety Onions has readers wondering not so much if Voyt's machinations will succeed, but rather if Peter will welcome the Herr Doktor's efforts or rebel against his master. In an unexpected development, however, Onions' novel takes a truly original twist near the end and Onions leaves readers with a very personal finale that is both remarkable and chilling. The conclusion of The Hand of Kornelius Voyt is much like the lines written by T. S. Elliot in 1925: "This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper." The Hand of Kornelius Voyt is not to be missed.
5.0 out of 5 stars an incredible book! 27 April 2015
By Jon Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One of the best novels of this genre you're likely to ever read. You will be glad you bought this one. Really great writing! Oliver Onions is one of most impressive writers of the first half of the twentieth century.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Highly Atmospheric & Suspenseful Tale 24 May 2013
By RON S - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a lot of action in this one, but fans of early 20th Century SciFi and Fantasy will enjoy this eerie story of a young mental prodigy who is molded, developed and controlled completely by a mysterious deaf mute for a sinister purpose.
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