Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book Review: Holes for Faces by Ramsey Campbell

Holes for Faces by Ramsey Campbell

Hardcover and trade paperback Dark Regions press

Ramsey Campbell is a modern master of horror, one of the longest running and most published British horror writers that has bestsellers and award galore. My favorite novels of his include "The Face that must die" (reviewed here last summer) and "The Count of Eleven."

This collection published by (newly) locally Portland based publisher Dark Regions press has 14 well written stories. They are all excellent as you would expect. By the end of the book some themes repeat and a couple of the stories have a similar feel. Every single story is written with skill you would expect coming from such a respected horror professional.

A few stories stood out for me. "Peep" was an interesting tale of a grandpa overwhelmed by twin grandkids who drive him to confront the truth behind a innocent seeming game. I loved "Chucky comes to Liverpool," which felt very different in tone from the rest of the collection. Campbell is a long time film critic and he uses his film knowledge to add to the power of this geek nightmare.

For me however the best story is the first one you read when you open up the book. "Passing through Peacehaven is a beautifully composed tale of gothic feeling and tone. Great use of atmosphere makes this a great read.

Campbell is a safe bet, I am not sure you need to read this book cover to cover all at once but like many great short story collections this would be great to have on the shelf to read a story here and there in single sittings. Campbell fans of course will love it. and Dark Regions packaged it up nice with a great artwork.

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