Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Voices of Doom: Tales of Terror and the Uncanny

Voices of Doom: Tales of Terror and the Uncanny, Basil Copper, St. Martin's Press, 1980

Here is a group of stories by someone who has been compared to H.P. Lovecraft as a master of horror and the macabre.

A professional occultist travels to an abandoned house, in the middle of nowhere, to see if tales told by the locals have any legitimacy. Many years ago, a family, plus servants, lived there, until they were all driven mad or died under mysterious circumstances. Was it just a string of bad luck, or was the house conspiring against them?

A man named Stovold seems to have acquired a "shadow" in the form of a gaunt man clad in black. Wherever Stovold travels around the world, his shadow is somewhere nearby. Back home, with his health falling apart, Stovold sees the shadow knock on his front door, carrying luggage for an extended visit. Is this some denizen of Hell, planning to do something unspeakable?

Soames, a local accountant, notices a closed and vacant shop in his neighborhood. A few days later, during his lunch break, he finds the shop in a different location, and it is open for business. For various reasons, he is prevented from entering. Eventually, he walks through the door of Charon Ltd. Exporters, and is welcomed like an old friend by the proprietor.

This is the way macabre and horror stories are supposed to be done; the horror part is subtle and in the background instead of in your face. Here is a first-rate collection that is really worth reading.

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