A bookstore can be a wonderful, welcoming place of both commerce and curiosity. That's the goal for Woody, an American recently transferred to England to run a branch of Texts. He wants a clean, orderly store and lots of sales to show his bosses when they arrive from the States for a pre-Christmas inspection. Not easy given the shop's location in a foggy strip mall.
And things keep going wrong. No matter how often the shelves are put in order before the doors are locked at night, when the staff returns in the morning, books are lying all over the floor, many damp and damaged beyond repair. The store's computers keep acting up-errors appear in brochures and ads and orders disappear completely. And even when the machines are turned off, they seem to glow with a spectral gray light.
The hit-and-run death of an employee in the store's parking lot marks a turning point. One employee accuses another of making sexual advances and they come to blows. Between one sentence and the next, one loses his ability to read. The security monitors display half-seen things crawling between the stacks that vanish before anyone can find them.
Desperate, Woody musters his staff for an overnight inventory. When the last customers reluctantly depart, leaving almost-visible trails of slime shining behind them, the doors are locked, sealing Woody and the others inside for a final orgy of shelving.
The damp, grey, silent things that have been lurking in the basement and hiding in the fog may move slowly, but they are inexorable. This bookstore is no haven. It is the doorway to a hell unlike any other.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
|Publisher:||Tom Doherty Associates|
|File size:||398 KB|
About the Author
Ramsey Campbell is one of the world's most renowned and honored horror writers. He has won more British Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards than he has fingers, plus three Bram Stoker Awards. Campbell is the author of such classic works of horror and dark fantasy as Obsession, The Fact That Must Die, The Nameless, Incarnate, and The Influence, and more recent novels, The Darkest Part of the Woods and Nazareth Hill. His short fiction has been collected in several volumes include Alone With the Horrors and Scared Stiff. Campbell lives with his wife, Jenny, in Merseyside in England.
Ramsey Campbell has won more awards than any other living author of horror or dark fantasy, including four World Fantasy Awards, nine British Fantasy Awards, three Bram Stoker Awards, and two International Horror Guild Awards. Critically acclaimed both in the US and in England, Campbell is widely regarded as one of the genre's literary lights for both his short fiction and his novels. His classic novels, such as The Face that Must Die, The Doll Who Ate His Mother, and The Influence, set new standards for horror as literature. His collection, Scared Stiff, virtually established the subgenre of erotic horror.
Ramsey Campbell's works have been published in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and several other languages. He has been President of the British Fantasy Society and has edited critically acclaimed anthologies, including Fine Frights. Campbell's best known works in the US are Obsession, Incarnate, Midnight Sun, and Nazareth Hill.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
American based Texts Bookstores opened up a superstore in Fenny Meadows Retail Park in northern England. However, the store has failed to live up to expectations. Yank Woody Blake, who has successfully turned around stores in New Orleans and Minneapolis, is sent to fix the English shop built on the fens....................... During closing hours, books jump from shelves even landing in the discard pile and the fen reclaims the store every night leaving inventory wet, oily and yucky. With the suits arriving to inspect his progress, Woody orders an all-nighter to get the store ready. However, he and his employees learn first hand who the anti-bibliophiles are. Slimy blobs come out of the fog that has engulfed Texts Bookstore and the electricity blacks out. The outside doors are locked by some other force with no way to exit and Woody is further sealed in his office that might be his tomb as the store is sinking just like whole villages have vanished here before....................... Fans of Ramsey Campbell and anyone who has worked at a bookstore will appreciate this tongue in cheek horror tale that grips the audience the moment readers grasp that this is not just another retail establishment. Woody is a fabulous protagonist who serves as the focal point holding the thriller together (someone has to ¿ try pinning jello blobs to a wall). He and his staff portray working at a bookstore so well and his transformation from save the store ultra-energy to trapped mouse is cleverly handled as in between he sees all sorts of the nasties occur to his staff. Mindful of Poltergeist but with humor, Mr. Campbell provides a delightful tale that will ironically leap off the bookshelves............... Harriet Klausner
After 500 pages of undeveloped characters squabbling over every mundane detail of the bookstore, I could take no more. Stilted dialogue, lack of any sense of intrigue or suspence. Cured my insomnia though, which earned it a star.
I love bookshops. I love the feel of being surrounded by books. They transport you into worlds you would otherwise never visit. Ramsey Campbell worked, for a couple of years, in a branch of Borders, in Cheshire and his inside knowledge of the mundane routines of shelf-stacking and stock rotation are put to good use here. Especially when things start to happen during the performance of those daily tasks. It starts with a fog. seemingly innocuous enough at first - well, the store is on a retail park called Fenny Meadows - marshland all around providing a magnet for low lying, swirling mists. But this fog persists, it gets worse. It invades, insinuates itself and provides a highly effective cloak for whatever is lurking in its shadowy depths. The author builds the plot and characters deliciously. A mysterious death, staff behaving oddly - or are they? Wonderful tension between the characters that we can all relate to in a working environment. The action moves forward. By now there can be no doubt in the reader's mind that something is about to go horribly wrong for the staff of Texts. Then comes the overnight shift... Wonderful reading. Highly recommended.