Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Think Yourself Lucky by Ramsey Campbell. An unsettling piece of horror fiction, which comes perilously close to truths we all try to keep hidden.
Ramsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that “Campbell reigns supreme in the field today,” while S. T. Joshi has said that “future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood.”
About the book
David Botham just wants a quiet ordinary life―his job at the travel agency, his relationship with his girlfriend Stephanie. The online blog that uses a title he once thought up has nothing to do with him. He has no idea who is writing it or where they get their information about a series of violent deaths in Liverpool. If they’re murders, how can the killer go unseen even by security cameras? Perhaps David won’t know until they come too close to him―until he can’t ignore the figure from his past that is catching up with him…
If you imagine the world wide web as a humongous one-way mirror with every internet user on one side, and on the other side, behind the dark impenetrable screen sit the unspoken desires, words and subconscious impulses. What we do on the translucent side can be seen by everyone, and yet it’s the moments in the darkness, the minutes of anonymity the other side of the mirror craves.
Campbell speaks to this dangerous element of the web, and of the hidden dangers that lurk there, and the parts of our personalities we keep hidden from others.
In general people are regarded or described in relation to their worst attributes in this story and women tend to, more often than not, be described as see you next Tuesdays or as portraying an annoying amount of see you next Tuesdayness.
The story has this feel of dirt you can’t seem to rid yourself of. Like a layer of invisible darkness over the entire story. This is really apparent towards the last scenes at the end, where you can almost feel the presence looming over you.
The fact the main character David is most definitely not a writer is repeated ad nauseam. In reaction perhaps to the blog some mysterious person is posting, which seems to have some weird connection to David. For me it is also a cheeky nod by Campbell to his many critics. A bit of a Marmite man, he waves the words ‘I am not a writer’ in front of everyone, whilst writing a story. That’s irony for you.
An unsettling piece of horror fiction, which comes perilously close to truths we all try to keep hidden. I found it a wee bit all over the place and perhaps not on par with other work by Campbell.
Publisher: Flame Tree Press; New edition (1 Nov. 2018)
(About the publisher: Flame Tree Press is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.)