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The Black School [Mass Market Paperback]

J.N. Williamson
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre horror by a supremely irritating writer May 18 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was not greatly taken by my previous encounters with Mr Williamson's novels."Ghost"struck me as whimsical and exasperating in its refusal to treat the subject seriously,while "Noonspell"is simply utterly pedestrian."The Black School",while still flawed by flippancy and a tendency to a tongue in cheek approach that has no place within the genre,is a bit better in that it achieves the dizzy heights of mediocrity,a plateau I had thought to be beyond the writers talents to attain
The protagonist is "Michael Scott",an English teacher and aspiring novelist,whose ancestors include a noted scholar on the occult who had stolen the Devil's Bible when a student in the Black School-a sort of seminary for those of the cloven-hoof persuasion.Satan's agents are convinced that Scott has the book without his knowing it and are hellbent(pun intended)on getting it back.They kidnap his daughter,Jill,and enroll her in the Black School hoping to lure him into pursuit and thus lay their hands on the demonic text
Michael indeed sets out to locate the school which is in an underground cavern in Scotland.
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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre horror by a supremely irritating writer May 18 2002
By F. J. Harvey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was not greatly taken by my previous encounters with Mr Williamson's novels."Ghost"struck me as whimsical and exasperating in its refusal to treat the subject seriously,while "Noonspell"is simply utterly pedestrian."The Black School",while still flawed by flippancy and a tendency to a tongue in cheek approach that has no place within the genre,is a bit better in that it achieves the dizzy heights of mediocrity,a plateau I had thought to be beyond the writers talents to attain
The protagonist is "Michael Scott",an English teacher and aspiring novelist,whose ancestors include a noted scholar on the occult who had stolen the Devil's Bible when a student in the Black School-a sort of seminary for those of the cloven-hoof persuasion.Satan's agents are convinced that Scott has the book without his knowing it and are hellbent(pun intended)on getting it back.They kidnap his daughter,Jill,and enroll her in the Black School hoping to lure him into pursuit and thus lay their hands on the demonic text
Michael indeed sets out to locate the school which is in an underground cavern in Scotland.He is helped by "Jacob Weir"a dwarf and a homunculus,created by the noted medieval alchemist Paraclesus and the real owner of the purloined text
The novel goes on to deal with the attemps of this duo to thwart the plans of the Satanic hordes
I am still not persuaded that the author has any real respect for the genre and feel that he fails to take it seriously enouygh
There are too many moments which are as merely flippant,such as the devil conducting interviews with subordinate demons for all the world like a senior executive in a multi-national corporation,and the scene at the school's prom where students dance to rock bands named Styx and Gehenna
My interest is always undermined when I sense a lack of intensity from the writer
Jacob also bids fair to be the most sheerly irritating character in horror literature for an eternity--his circumlocutions and babble of mixed foreign lwords and phrases are teeth grindingly inane
I am in accord with the great antholgist of yore Montague Summers when he argued humour was out of place in the tale of terror.I an very much of the view that it never really works
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