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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware of clowns and Internet trolls!, 3 Mar. 2008
This review is from: The Grin of the Dark (Paperback)
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Simon Lester's life hasn't quite gone the way he had hoped. At university he had showed signs of having an interesting career ahead as a movie expert, but now he is living in a rented room and working at a petrol station. Then suddenly, out of the blue, his ex-tutor turns up and offers him several thousand pounds to expand and publish his thesis on silent movie clown, Tubby Thackeray. Not surprisingly, Simon eagerly accepts his offer. He soon encounters problems though when he finds that Tubby has been almost entirely expunged from cinema history. Only odd scraps of film footage can be found, plus old press cuttings from his music hall days, when he was arrested for inducing a state of mass hysteria in his audience.

I like a good horror thriller, but I'm also interested in the early days of cinema, so this was a double bonus for me. The author provides good insight into those wildly anarchic early days of film comedy, and shows what a fine line there can be between broad slapstick fun and the stuff of nightmares. (This is done particularly well when Simon watches an old sketch of Tubby's, in which a dentist goes mad ripping out a patient's teeth). The characterisation is also good, and his Internet troll sections are absolutely spot-on! The only part of the book I really didn't like was the ending. It felt silly. Nonetheless this is above-average horror. Recommended.
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