Though not strikingly original in theme, the nine stories in Lumley's first collection since A Coven of Vampires (1998) are as punchy and direct in their approach to horror as the author's blood-curdling Necroscope novels. Nearly all feature modern people reduced to primitive drives and fears when faced with territorial challenges from weird nemeses. In the title story, an impeccable John Bull type is driven to violence as he finds himself displaced gradually from barroom and bedroom by a grotesque little homunculus with fiendish hypnotic powers. "The Disapproval of Jeremy Cleave" is a black comedy about a husband so possessive of his wife that after death his glass eye and prosthetic leg noisily interrupt her lovemaking with other men. The desperate extremes people resort to when confronted with threats to all they hold dear is particularly noticeable in two Lovecraft pastiches: "Aunt Hester," which tells of a family's struggles to fend off one member's formidable skill at exchanging personalities after her demise, and "The Return of the Deep Ones," in which a marine biologist painfully discovers that he's descended from a semi-aquatic species. Though most of the stories showcase Lumley's familiar blend of O. Henry twists and gruesome shocks, "No Sharks in the Med," an expertly modulated tale of mounting psychological suspense about a newlywed couple's struggle to escape pursuers on a private island, is the book's best selection. Fans in need of a regular Lumley fix will find the tone and temper of these tales satisfyingly consistent with his novels.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Tor is fighting back against the bibliographical chaos of sf and fantasy short fiction with two collections of the Lovecraftian Lumley's stories. This volume contains the title story, the classic visitation-from-beyond yarn "The Return of the Deep Ones" (once published as a short novel in three installments and since lost to view), and seven other tales. Among those the standouts are "Snarker's Son," a Lovecraft-tinged alternate history; "No Sharks in the Med," which Lumley brings vividly to life by setting it in Cyprus; and "The Luststone," a raunchy, raucous condensation of a longer, rather more explicit original. The stories indicate that Lumley's partiality to purple prose goes back a long way, but for most readers, his handling of Lovecraftian themes, his deft use of setting, and his growing skill at characterization will far outweigh the fustian. Roland Green
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Fans of Lovecraft's scenarios will relish this science fiction/horror blend which includes many elements of Lovecraft's horror tales, with the focus on racial memory and a... Read morePublished on May 18 2001 by Midwest Book Review
Lumley ranks among the very best horror writers influenced by Lovecraft arounf today. A collection of 9 tales that are dark, humorous, and bone chilling; especially such classics... Read morePublished on March 31 2001 by Gary S. Potter
I used to be a great fan of Brian Lumley's. The early Necroscope novels were chilling and unique. Lumley's Lovecraft derived tales were always great fun. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2001 by Marc Ruby™