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The Furking Leer


Gillian's Marsh (first edition / out of print)Gillian’s Marsh by Michael Faun

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blood in the water, blood in the land. Southern Gothic crossed with B-Movie, like John Farris and Flannery O’Connor wrote a script to be directed by Jim and Artie Mitchell. Lurid and mesmerizing, festooned with horrors taken for granted flowing into each other like water under the mangrove trees overhung with Spanish moss in little old New Alabama…the narrator’s camera eye does not shrink from depicting each gross and engrossing incident in this catalogue of terror.
It’s just past the Civil War in the American south. Luann Lee escapes the preacher only to be “rescued” by Red, who should probably be played by Rory Calhoun if you can’t get Kurtwood Smith, in the movie, when someone like Brian Yuzna or Stuart Gordon directs it.
I can just imagine Red’s face, with a furking leer on it and the blood running from his mouth. Michael Faun depicts him so expertly, draws the environment so clearly, evokes crawling horror so well, that you’ll never get the taste out of your mouth.

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Highly recommended. Also recommended-Drugula, by the same author.

Sea of Ash


The Sea of Ash
The Sea of Ash
The Sea of Ash by Scott Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zounds! I’ve had this slim novel for quite some time (referring to the Kindle edition). It has languished in my to-read queue for an unconscionable period…but at long last I’ve given it a couple of reads, two weeks apart, and have survived to tell the story.
Reading, I was minded so much of Wells that I hd to keep checking the authorship. The Crystal Egg and the Time Machine came repeatedly to mind-the former because of the style and the latter because of a quaintly Victorian device that figures in the narrative. But Wells didn’t go in so much for the supernatural.
MR James, Walter de la Mare, those would be perhaps more suitable names to conjure with, trying to encapsulate or compare the style and subject matter of this most singular work.
Not that comparison comes anywhere close to capturing the essence of the piece, but I feel compelled to try.
There is that of the ghostly(Fractured Harry himself and several other apparitions appear), and that of the steampunk (the general Victorian air and appurtenances), and that of the strictly naturalistic, all bundled together loosely and interdependent upon one another to form the whole of the structure, like one of Clive Barker’s Cities in the Hills, or a Wicker Man.
The work deserves every accolade that comes to it. I’ve seldom beheld such a work of the imagination in a long career of reading fantastical fiction.
I just bought a copy of the Sea of Flesh and the Sea of Ash, to have the original work(s) together.
Five stars plus.

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