Ancient Images

Ancient Images

3.5 27
by Ramsey Campbell
     
 

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A lost horror film holds the key to terrifying secrets.

The legends have persisted for decades of a lost horror film starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi that was never released. Rumor has it that, for reasons long forgotten, powerful forces suppressed the film and burned all known prints. Nobody now living has seen the finished film. But

Overview

A lost horror film holds the key to terrifying secrets.

The legends have persisted for decades of a lost horror film starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi that was never released. Rumor has it that, for reasons long forgotten, powerful forces suppressed the film and burned all known prints. Nobody now living has seen the finished film. But that might no longer be true…

Film researcher Sandy Allan is invited to a screening of a newly discovered sole-surviving print, but then the film disappears and the real horror begins. Sandy’s search for the film leads her to Redfield, a rural community known for its rich soil, fertilized by blood from an ancient massacre. But Redfield guards its secrets closely, with good reason. During every step of her search, Sandy is watched, shadowed by strange figures. Is it paranoia, or is someone—or something—determined to keep the lost film and the secrets it reveals buried forever?

This book has been previously published.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
British horror writer Campbell here focuses on one of his most intriguing inventions, a horror film supposedly starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, made in England in 1938 and immediately suppressed. When film editor Sandy Allen decides to track down a print of the film, her detective work leads her to Redfield, a rural community known for the delicious wheat that grows on its rich soil, fertilized by blood from an ancient massacre and, it turns out, in need of a fresh infusion every 50 years to maintain its fecundity. During her search, Sandy is shadowed by bizarre creatures that sometimes look like dogs and sometimes like scarecrows. After Sandy finally pins down the connection between the film and Redfield, the creatures come out of the shadows and reveal themselves. Campbell's novels tend to be dense and less accessible than his short stories, but this narrative seems more relaxed and simplified--perhaps his most readable effort since his debut in The Doll Who Ate His Mother. (June)
Library Journal
A colleague's violent death and its apparent cause--a stolen copy of an old, never-released Karloff/Lugosi film--set film editor Sandy Allan on the trail of the film's origins and history. Mystery surrounds the movie, and as Sandy learns of the tragedies which haunted its production, she finds herself threatened by an ancient force protecting secrets deeper than the suppression of a 50-year-old movie. Interestingly, in this novel centered on a horror movie supposedly judged too disturbing to be shown in theaters, author Campbell makes it clear that his own view of the genre does not include the splatter films and paperbacks of the 1980s horror market. His brand of fear derives from atmosphere, suggestion, and his trademark fever-dream world, where litter scuttles across deserted sidewalks and toadstools gleam like eyes. Campbell is renowned among fans and writers alike as the master of a skewed and exquisitely terrifying style, and this latest novel will only add to his reputation.-- A.M.B. Amantia, Population Crisis Committee Lib., Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609286453
Publisher:
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication date:
10/04/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
579,416
File size:
1 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Ramsey Campbell has been given more awards than any other writer in the field, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association, a Living Legend Award from the International Horror Guild, and a Grand Master Award from the World Horror Convention. He has also received three Bram Stoker Awards, four World Fantasy Awards, two International Horror Guild Awards, and twelve British Fantasy Awards.

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Ancient Images 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
BokononWH More than 1 year ago
A very entertaining read by one of the best writers of horror fiction. Fans of the concept of lost films which hold sinister secrets will enjoy this.
AMDonovan More than 1 year ago
We have a film that doesn't exist (really, but easily could have) the censorship of horror films that occurred in Britain and a family curse (that the family doesn't really know the extent of). Unfortunately the family curse does come with a blessing for the family and all the people dependent upon them. After all, the sacrifice isn't every year, or even every generation. This also begs the question, what would you do to defend a dead friend's honor? What sacrifice would you make, what danger would you endure, who would you defy or endanger? Combining elements of legend and history to make a cohesive whole. (Remember this is before cell phones.) © Night Owl Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a big movie fan, "Ancient Images" was a delight to read. The story follows a young film editor on a quest to recover a supposedly lost Karloff and Lugosi film. The more she learns about the film's troubled production and its withdrawal from theaters, the more the darkness closes in around her. Campbell's unique writing style is on full display, and his word images spring to life in one's imagination. Several scenes are standouts and, with the right director, would translate well onto the screen. The creatures are handled superbly, just as in the old black & white horror films: we are given only hints, suggestions, shadows, until the climax. If you are new to Ramsey Campbell this is not a bad place to start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the story that never ends. If you enjoy reading books with 'and then she drove here and there and thought she sees something but must have imagined it' wash, rinse, repeat, then great book. I didn't enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Relax
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The nook edition of this book has text which is very tiny and impossible to adjust. This ebook is an example of a greedy publisher putting out a crappy product
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WineGuy95113 More than 1 year ago
This creepy book reminded me of King's Dark Tower series. It may seem to plod along at first, but the buildup is worth it, and while it seems to be based on a Karloff/Lugosi lost film, the truth is even stranger and more hideous. Great ending!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderfully creepy book, done so very subtly - no graphic gory messes or obvious horror. I loved it. I also enjoyed learning about classic British horror films (though I admit, I expected ancient Egypt to be the topic, based on the title and author's name).
kimkaboom More than 1 year ago
While I love the concept of this book, it didn't totally live up to the level I think it could have achieved. It did keep me reading because I wanted to find out if film researcher, Sandy Allan survived to the end. I was a bit disappointed that neither she, nor anyone investigating the missing Karloff and Lugosi film had any imagination. When everyone you talk to is mentioning a dog or the feeling of being followed and you are having the same experiences.............Anyway, the ending was a bit anti-climatic for me, but if you don't want to worry about being kept up at night, this is an OK read.
d3crry More than 1 year ago
I give this book 3 stars. The story line was not easy to follow and the ending was disappointing...
AmaSAF More than 1 year ago
I was thrilled that a Ramsey Campbell book was offered on Free Friday recently. It is a long book and I raced right through it. The first book I read on my new Nook! I was not disappointed. I have a few Ramsey Campbell books and he is so good at conveying that creepy, hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck feeling. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok. The premise was new but the author's style and overall writing skill was just average. I felt a little let down at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe Mr. Campbell really *is* the deft horrormiester so many of the review blurbs claim, & I just picked his one & only novel he happened to write while his talent was taking a hiatus. While I undertand & appreciate the concept of subtlety in weird fiction- creating a sense of dread by hinting at the unseen, or revealing only shadowy glimpses while leaving the true scope of the unnamable to the reader's imagination- this novel did not even come close to hitting that target. The premise- a hitherto lost film starring Lugosi & Lon Cheny, suppressed by staid cultural censorship & an old aristocratic family with bloody secrets tied to their rural English land holdings- that had potential. The author just never managed to make the story pan out, & the plot was completely half-baked. The scene in the opening chapter (the only truly horrific & spine-chilling paragraphs in the book, btw), which describes a burning at the stake, wasn't even followed up on or tied into the story, except with the thinnest of threads. There's a big difference between leaving some points of a plot undescribed, to keep the reader thinking by drawing their own conclusions, and just plain sloppy lack of organization & oversight. If I had a quarter for every time the protagonist saw a bush or a dog or a bit of litter in the street (bushes and dogs or what appear to be dogs figure annoyingly and very repetatively into this tale, and comprise the whole of.its supposed atmosphere of tense paranoia)- well, I'd have a lot of quarters. At least I appreciate the author's nod to the classic English weird tale 'The Dammned Thing', thare was some tall grass moving around by itself, but Algernon Blackwlood or H.P. Lovecraft this author is decidedly not. Reading 'Ancient Images' was like a long, unsatisfying slog through a bunch of vaguely stray dog-shaped bushes, searching for an anticlimax.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just too boring. No action, nothing to grab yiur attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago