söndag 8 november 2009

What's EATING YOU, my dear?

While I was in the mood I figured re-reading my English introduction to Ramsey Campbell: his full length novel entrance -- The Doll Who Ate His Mother (1976). With a title like that, decorating the vivid front cover, how can you go wrong with this one? Well, I'll tell you a bit about it; it's quite a mixed bag, both in ways of first novel and the way Ramsey Campbell is as an author and his person...

To get right to the heart of the matter: One evening, Clare is driving her car with faulty breaks when the impossible accident occurs. She crashes her vehicle into a tree and her brother, unprotected in the passenger seat, is slumped against the door and instantly killed. But this is not all; something is missing -- somebody, or something, has taken off his arm!

And so the hunt starts. Clare, and an egotistic writer of criminal novels who claims fame and fortune, begin to look för the young man who supposedly ripped away the brother's arm. The wanted person has a small tendency to bite chunks and bits from animal and human victims. Alledgedly, he was promissed to a kind of devil worshipper and was witnessed to have eaten his way out of his womb at the time of his birth...

Bloody hell! It starts off quite well. There's an atmosphere of absurdity and the macabre, at first, then, unfortunately, the novel begins to tire to an almost standstill, and it's not until the last chapters that it once again becomes interesting. A pity, because it's not a very thick novel and it could (and should!) have been more fast-paced and gripping throughout... But, then again, this is Ramsey Campbell -- one hell of a psychological knock-out, when he likes to...

As always, the violence is off-stage and/or not very graphic. but often described in a way that clearly does not insult the creative and intellectual mind (if not driven too far by subtle descriptions, that is...).

I will continue reading one or a few more Ramsey Campbell novels before long... So if you're interested, just stay tuned.

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