Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Review: Ritual

Ritual Ritual by Graham Masterton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: RITUAL by Graham Masterton

RITUAL is a really complex horror novel, and as befits the author, seriously graphic and visceral. As with THE DEVIL IN GRAY and HYMN, the author weaves in history and religion, albeit not the type of religion most of us have learned to expect. An itinerant travelling restaurant inspector, employed by a travel guide, is the feckless protagonist of this story. As is frequently pointed out to Charlie in the course of the novel, he is an individual virtually devoid of purpose. He does his job, which involves constant travelling, but he does not scintillate nor excel. He is divorced, with a fifteen-year-old son he scarcely knows. He by attrition and apathy has failed his wife, his son, and a former mistress.

When Charlie, accompanied by his son Martin, visits a family restaurant in Connecticut, he stumbles upon rumor of a mysterious and secretive "dining society," so of course he must know more. But as with every Lovecraft story, there are aspects of life and knowledge we are better without. Charlie will discover this to his ever-lasting regret.

{Personal note: I do not like the ending. On further reflection, I see that it may fit, and may even in a sense be poetically just; but I don't like it.}

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