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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: House of Small Shadows

House of Small Shadows House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS by Adam Nevill

Within the great tradition of British horror is a narrower classification, which when cultivated properly, yields an amazing, abundant, harvest of terror. Of course this particular definition is not confined to the British Isles (I'm thinking of Gord Rollo's "Valley of the Scarecrow," and Thomas Tryon's "Harvest Home" as examples.) But authors native to England, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, and Ireland excel. I refer to the tradition of "village horror" [ If you find this unfamiliar, watch those classic scary films, "Village of the Damned" and "Children of the Damned." ]

Preferably, settle in with an Adam Nevill novel. This author schooled himself in the classics of the genre, and consequently is in a class all his own. In HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS, as in RITUAL and LAST DAYS, Mr. Nevill creates subtlety and horror, insanity and reflections of insanity, and "Village Horror" finely tuned to a maximum level of monstrosity. All our senses and most of our emotions are engaged. Disbelief has been tossed by the wayside, because like poor protagonist Catherine after a lifetime of victimization, we so strongly desire to believe. As the Pied Piper led away the children of Hamlin, so do the various and bizarre characters in this novel lead us away....deep down, we desire to believe.


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