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The Secret of Ventriloquism Paperback – 17 Oct 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Dunhams Manor Press; 2 edition (17 Oct. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692799648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692799642
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 446,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Jon Padgett is a professional—though lapsed—ventriloquist who lives in New Orleans with his spouse, their daughter and two cats. Padgett is a Senior Editor of Vastarien: a source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti. He has work out or forthcoming in Pseudopod, Lovecraft eZine, Xnoy-bis, Antenna::Signals and The Junk Merchants: A Literary Salute to Wil-liam S. Burroughs.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding collection. There's a really genuine sense of the uncanny built up over the course of these tales, and a brilliant sense of cohesion. Threads of information and themes criss-cross and connect, suggesting a strange larger picture.
Jon plays with methods of storytelling- a self-help meditation, a guide to ventriloquism in 20 steps, and a play in 1 act scattered between the stories, and the cumulative effect is brilliantly sustained, utterly unsettling.
The Infusorium and Origami Dreams were my personal favourites- genuinely weird, artfully constructed.
A brilliant book. I recommend it unreservedly.
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Extraordinary piece of work, quite outstanding in recent weird fiction. Thomas Ligotti without the occasional flights of over-dense prose; Matthew M Bartlett from a different angle, and so on. Standalone stories which are yet linked; links which may or may not be crucial. Padgett can do plot, and he can abandon it, as a story requires - the result is still striking. It has to be said that Indoor Swamp is one of the most perfect evocations of what 'weird' can be - a tale which could almost be said to have no point, yet which has more purpose and meaning in it than a dozen mainstream novels.
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Ever had dreams that were not exactly nightmares, but you were relieved when you awoke? Did those impressions stay with you throughout the waking hours? This collection of interlinked stories is in parts disturbing, scary, and challenging. A very clever writer of a great book that will have you re-reading it just to make sure you 'get it'!
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Uncanny is a good word to describe this book. Nightmarish a better one to describe the stories and the atmosphere. The way the stories flow into each other is very clever and although I'll admit to scratching my head from time to time I found it utterly engrossing.
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The Secret Of Ventriloquism is the debut collection from Jon Padgett - and what a debut it is. I'd seen a lot of praise for this book before reading it, so much so that I wondered if it could actually live up to the hype. Now I find myself adding to that praise unreservedly: The Secret Of Ventriloquism is utterly, fantastically, indubitably brilliant.

The stories within cover a range of styles and influences: 'The Indoor Swamp' for example is a largely plotless, Ligotti-esque mood piece, whereas 'The Infusorium' is a longer work, full of vivid characters, plot reversals and the influence of noir. Padgett also gives us jet-black humour in 'Murmurs Of A Voice Foreknown', a one act play, and a story written in the style of a ventriloquism manual.

But despite this impressive variation, these stories all seem to take place in the same fictional geography, with images, events and motifs criss-crossing between them. Padgett-land is a place of thick smogs, mysterious plan-crashes, dream-logic, and the mysteries of 'greater ventriloquism'.

As such, The Secret Of Ventriloquism is not just a collection of good stories, but a good collection of stories, structured and arranged to hint at wider horrors that we never see. If the key to good horror writing is atmosphere (as I keep repeating) then Padgett proves himself a master of it here. Each story builds tension individually, but also contributes to the overall, escalating feeling of unease, of a malaise physical and mental. It's magnificently done and demands to be read by all aficionados of the genre.
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