Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sam Kates

A few days ago I read Sam's short stories and knew it wouldn't be long before I read his first full novel.  It's wonderful!

The Village of Lost Souls  The Village of Lost Souls

My review -

This book is marketed as horror but it is so much more. The elderly John Andrews is relating his life story, and the first part of the book tells of his childhood, partly during the Second World War and its effect on his small family in Newcastle. In its way, that is horror enough. After the war and his father’s death from cancer, he and his mother leave to join her sister in a small Cornish village and that’s when the strangeness begins. He meets a girl and falls in love and he finds that his aunt has secrets in her past which still haunt her.

Sam Kates is an articulate and gifted writer. His prose is eloquent and beautiful and, as the story progresses, we and John begin to feel that all is not right in the small village. The horror here is subtle and mounts inexorably. We read on in awe as the past catches up with the present and we fear that John will not be able to cope. I read this book in a day – admittedly staying up past my bedtime to finish it. How could I not? I only discovered Sam Kates’ work a few days ago. It’s wonderful and he has got himself another fan here!

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