Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: "The Parasite" by Ramsey Campbell

This novel, The Parasite, is the third Ramsey Campbell novel I have read, and while I will continue to read his books, I can’t say that I will ever be a big fan of his. The weird logic I use is that while his books are wild rides, they do not affect me the way other horror novelists like Jack Ketchum or Joe Hill do, which get a more visceral emotional out of me. Campbell is a lot like H. P. Lovecraft, in that he is a master at creating a dreadful mood that permeates every word that he writes. It looks and sounds cool, but it gets very tiring soon, which may be why Lovecraft wrote very few novel length works. This kind of writing works better in fragments, at least for someone like me who is not used to such heavy wording in my horror novels. Out of the three Campbell novels I have read, the other two being The Doll Who Ate His Mother and The Face That Must Die, The Parasite is the best one. It begins in a haunted house, where a young girl named Rose is attacked by an entity after being locked in a room and abandoned by her friends. Years later, Rose is a film critic who is mugged in New York City, and has an out of body experience, which forces her to look to the past event, and confront an evil that is dangerously close to home. Not to spoil anything, but if you liked the movie Insidious, which I did, you might like this book, with many expounded ideas about astral projection being the coolest part of this novel. But like most Campbell, it is easy to get lost, know who is who, and who the villain actually is. Like I said, this novel a cool experience, but one that is incomplete despite it’s qualities.
Rating: 4/5

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