"There are those who ought to feel guilty, but don't; and there are those who feel guilty when they have no need to. Then, of course, there are those for whom the concept of guilt has no meaning whatsoever."
Inspired by a friend and literture soulmate, I got on the train again of re-discovering the oldies of that once so notorious limey, Graham Masterton. This round I'm not grappling with the neat little goodies of his late 70s and early 80s, but with the novels of the mid-80s and forward -- a time when his fiction started becoming more complex and intriguing, while pumping up the volume on gore, absurdity and disgust at the same time. The book I'm holding in my hands right now has notably won a price in France (which is not easy, I've been told) of all places (well he is very popular both there and in Poland, you see...); it's Family Portrait (aka. Portrait of Evil, 1985), one of my absolute favourites with it's own interpretation one of Oscar Wilde's most controversial stories -- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890).
Since I've always enjoyed the more classical books of gothic, doppelgängers and specters rather than the more current time masterpieces, while studying literature at school, I find this Graham Masterton one of his first and most rewarding pieces in a continuous context. Family Portrait is a violent and visceral tale of a family that kills and flays people for their unnatural survival; of a portrait of twelve that rots and suddenly comes alive while innocents are tortured beyond belief; but rest assured that there are some brave souls left to fight this malice that has tormented two continents through generations... I cannot tell you more; I just want to whetten your appetite, but, so typically with Masterton, you start of your reading with quite an initial shock that tells you there's quite more to get where that came from... Mind you, though, that this is still an interesting and enjoyable read should you take away most of the more graphic descriptions -- gone is the ultra slim plot and forgettably boring characters of his first post-Manitou shock-o-ramas ...
So, what are you waiting for? Get this hidden gem on Adlibris, Amazon, Play or where ever its face and start reading; it will be a ride of a life time -- you have my word!