Feb 13, 2012 | Comments 0
Publisher: Macmillan Digital Audio (4 May 2007) | ISBN: 0230528538 | Language English | Audio CD in MP3/192Kbps | 264 MB
Once is the latest in the welcome new phase of James Herbert’s career after he distanced himself from the straightforward “horror” tag afforded to him by earlier novels such as the Rats trilogy and cannily reinvented himself as a writer with considerably more psychological insight and elegance of style.
Trading on a grotesque reinvention of fairy stories, Herbert has his protagonist Thorn Kindred encountering witches, goblins and demons, and being obliged to turn to some very strange sources to save his soul. The new ambitiousness of Herbert’s writing may be found in the underpinning of the narrative here: this is a grim and persuasively realised spin on Nietzsche’s epigram: “When fighting monsters, beware of becoming one yourself.” But long-time readers needn’t worry about a lack of grisly chills: Herbert is too fine a writer not to keep us permanently on the edge of our proverbial seats. And he’s better than ever at orchestrating his fear-filled climaxes, so that there is a carefully worked out structure to the book that never has the stop-and-start jerkiness of the early novels. Rather in the nature of Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods, fairy tale motifs are exploded and reconstituted in this dark and erotic fable. After reading Once, fairy tales will never seem the same again. –Barry Forshaw –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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