- Paperback: 370 pages
- Publisher: ChiZine Publications (Sept. 8 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1771484179
- ISBN-13: 978-1771484176
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 440 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #780,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Volk: A Novel of Radiant Abomination Paperback – Aug 16 2017
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"Nickle has carved a path for himself as a pre-eminent author of speculative fiction. He covers a vast literary cross-section, but does so free of clutter. While this work is certainly a political treatise against oppressive entities and their dreadful acts, Nickle never loses sight of the dark poetry inherent in the genre, nor does he overlook simply spinning a good yarn. For all the expanded scope and complexity of ideas and story structure, Volk remains accessible." --Cemetery Dance "It's a nailbiter of an action novel that is spooky as hell, a critical and sharp demolition of Lovecraft's own romanticization of eugenics, a notion that Nickle demolishes with Lovecraft's own tools--very satisfying indeed." --Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net "[Volk is] a political, psychological and philosophical allegory of remarkable depth and ambition: the most intellectually provocative horror novel of the twenty-first century." --Alex Good, The Toronto Star "Volk is technically and intellectually very ambitious, and it succeeds on almost every level, including as good, intelligent entertainment." --See The Elephant Magazine "David Nickle's stories are sui generis in presentation, veering from the discombobulating nightmare that is 'Basements' to the squid-laden eco-satire 'Wylde's Kingdom' to the sci-fi love of 'Loves Means Forever.' When it comes to this book, only two things are certain; the stories never travel where you expect, and David Nickle is a monumental talent. --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Believe the hype: David Nickle is very good." --The Globe and Mail "David Nickle is my favorite kind of writer. His stories are dark, wildly imaginative, and deeply compassionate--even when they're laced with righteous anger. He's at the top of his game in this new book of short stories, and that's about as good as it gets." --Nathan Ballingrud, author of North American Lake Monsters
About the Author
David Nickle is a Toronto-based author and journalist whose fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies like Cemetery Dance, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, the Northern Frights series and the Queer Fear series. Some of it has been collected in his book of stories, Monstrous Affections. His first solo novel, Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism, led the National Post to call him "a worthy heir to the mantle of Stephen King." His most recent novel, Rasputin's Bastards, was called supernatural eeriness at its best. He also works as a reporter, covering Toronto municipal politics for a chain of community newspapers.
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Cons: not particularly scary
This is a direct continuation of Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism, picking up 20 or so years after that one ends. All of the survivors show up and play major roles in the book. It’s interesting seeing how their lives have progressed, but also sad, as some of them don’t recover from their ordeal as well as others.
It’s very interesting learning more about the jukes and their parasitic nature. Unlike with the first book, when you knew when the characters were under the creature’s influence, in this book characters often reexamine their memories to discover they’ve forgotten things or were completely unaware of them. It make most of them unreliable narrators, but imparts their feelings of confusion and hesitancy very well.
The plot is pretty interesting, trying to figure out what happened to Jason, who and what Orlok is, and whether the Nazi’s will get their ubermensch.
Several of the newly introduced characters are gay, which was handled well considering the location and period the book takes place (Germany and France in the 1930s). One of the gay characters considered it a disease and was looking for a cure, while others were more comfortable with who they were. For the most part the principle characters around them were supportive or, at least, not derogatory regarding them.
Race, obviously comes up given Doctor Waggoner is black and married to a white woman. Again, I was impressed with how that was handled, especially entering Germany. The introduction of the jazz band and the treatment of its members was well done, showing racism in a more individualistic rather than stereotypical manner.
I didn’t find the book particularly terrifying (unlike with the eugenics of the first one) despite the presence of Nazis and some horrible things going on. There are some uncomfortable scenes and the ending was unsettling.
It is a good sequel. It answers a lot of questions raised in the previous book and shows what happens to everyone. It also shows that however much you run, sometimes you can’t escape your past.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Volk picks up around 20 years after the calamities in Eliadia, where most of Eutopia is set. Nickle brings back the amazing cast of characters from the first book which I immediately sunk back into like a broke in recliner when I started reading. Eutopia tends to focus more on Dr. Andrew Waggoner and Jason Thistledowns survival from The Juke and Nazi Eugenicists, while Volk has more focus on Annie Rowe (Waggoner in this book) and Ruth Harper and their heroics after Dr. Waggoner and Thistledown are roped back into The Juke’s presence. Since I am a huge fan of this group of characters I enjoyed the first part of the book which provides some background on what is happening with the characters. The action really picks up around page 200 in this incredible scene where Annie Waggoner poisons a doctor to get information about what is going on. The scene provides important context and really sets the book off, I couldn’t put it down after that.
I loved Volk and found it to be a skilled follow up to an amazing first novel. There are some names and places that may not make sense until later in the book if you haven’t read Eutopia first. I honestly think if you want to get the full effect of this novel then you need to read Eutopia first. I don’t want to give anything away but Nickle has left it open for further sequels and I hope he finds time to do it. Nickle is now one of my favorite writers. Whether it be novel or short stories, Nickle has a knack for writing weird thought-provoking fiction. If you are a fan of Laird Barron, Jeffrey Thomas, or other writers of dark thought-provoking mythos, then check out David Nickle.