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Posted September 7, 2013
Best book I ever read. With every twist and turn the author instills every emotion into your being. Not for the faint of heartWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 12, 2009
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Robert Londrigan is an up-and-coming newscaster in the town of Cedar Hill, Ohio. He has a wife he loves and a child on the way and life is good. Then suddenly everything takes an unexpected turn and Robert find his life shattered. His wife dies and the body of his unborn daughter is stolen from the morgue. The kidnapper attacks him and leaves him with the enigmatic message 'Do you despair?' In Silent Graves is much more than your average pulp horror novel. In the beginning things were so surreal that I almost gave up on the book. Luckily Gary's writing was good enough to keep me reading and he pulls off the neat trick of revealing his supernatural world one onion layer at a time, which gave me plenty of 'Aha!' moments, explaining things that had seemed so nonsensical or just bizarre earlier. This was one of the best executed genre books I've read in years. But... I don't know. It just didn't capture me.
In my eyes, In Silent Graves is more dark fantasy than horror. It reminded me quite a bit of Clive Barker's early stuff (especially Weaveworld and Cabal). One of those stories where a regular guy makes a left instead of a right and winds up in a surreal nightmare world. I don't mean to say that Braunbeck is swiping from Barker. The story and its surrounding mythology is original and unique. Often there were bits of fairy tales woven into the story and he did a good job of capturing the fairy tale narrative style and it was an effective way of revealing his mythology. It's really quite good if that is what you are looking for. I might even call it an undiscovered classic of dark fantasy. But I never had a taste for that stuff myself. As a result though I enjoyed the time I spent reading it, I would close the cover for the day and I wouldn't be eagerly looking forward to my next chance to pick it up.
My distaste for dark fantasy aside, one issue I had with the book is the lack of any sort of outside threat. Earlier I compared the novel to Weaveworld. But it didn't have anything equal to Weaveworld's Fugue. There is a sort of existential threat in the book, but it is a much more nebulous thing. I never got the feeling that the characters were in any sort of mortal danger.
Gary Braunbeck really is a fantastic writer. Much better than the level of writing you will usually find in a horror novel. The characters had depth and genuinely made you feel for them. He's taken the time to build lives for his characters so that when bad things happen they have an emotional impact on the reader. He's really has managed to capture the main character's despair and misery at the loss of his wife and unborn child, which can make the book a genuinely unpleasant read.
On the downside, his writing is sometimes too lyrical for its own good. Sometimes he got a little carried away with his writing. His characters had a tendency to speak in pages long soliloquies. Extended speeches full of nuance and detail. People in anguish don't speak that way outside of Shakespeare or soap operas.
It wasn't my cup of tea, but if you love the early novels of Clive Barker or think that The Stand and The Dark Tower books are some of Stephen King's best work, I'd say you owe it to yourself to check out In Silent Graves.
Posted October 22, 2004
This book was alright, not anything great. I was a little confused about what was going on during some points in the book, but I just kept reading. It was a little spooky, but not anything extremely scary.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 24, 2011
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