The Dead Path – Again

So, I’ve been released from some of my more onerous editing duties (briefly) and I’ve been able to pick up Stephen M Irwin’s The Dead Path again.

I’m halfway through after a day of varied ‘stuff’ (including Write-Club), but I’ve been reading steadily.

And it’s freaking awesome!! Not only is the gentleman in question the nicest man in Australian horror, he’s also a great writer with admirable control of his craft. It’s horror, but not gross-out horror. There are creepy gross bits, sure, but there’s also that creeping psychological horror that’s much harder to pull off because it requires subtlety in the writing. His observations about characters and places is finely detailed and wonderfully real. It’s always nice to recognise Brisbane and see it in a strange light (the last time I enjoyed it this much was in Kim Wilkins The Infernal). I highly recommend it!

“The bones of a city don’t change. Perhaps its skin grows tight or flaccid as suburbs grow fashionable or become declasse; crow’s feet spread from pockets – new streets, new arteries into fresh corpulence. But the skeleton of its founding roads, the blood of its river, the skull of the low mountain that looms over it with its thorny crown of television towers like its own blinking Calvary … these things hadn’t changed.”

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0 Responses to The Dead Path – Again

  1. Mrs G says:

    OK, I have to read this book. I don’t read horror (remember The List?) but I need to immerse myself in Spec Fic because the novel I’m writing is so totally mainstream I could cry (even the appearance of aliens doesn’t save it because she could have dreamt them all).

    I loved a short story of Clive Barker’s, but I can’t read any more of him because if I start on Imajica, that’s all I’ll be able to do for the rest of my life. Ange, if you read good stuff that’s 150-200 pp. post it up here and I’ll try to read. Meanwhile, have to remember my login to Jim Baen’s Universe.

    Talking of cities: have you finished The City and The City? I had another good cry at the end of that: I was so disappointed that my romance with The New Weird ended there and then. It reads like Mieville’s publisher pushed him to write a “crime” novel in really fast time, in order to make money, and all Mieville had time to write was a repetition on the one theme – there’s a city in a city. Yeah, OK, got that from the back cover. So much came to mind on starting this novel: the Aleph; Boehme: There is another world but it is in this one…. even the urban eroticism of a Nin. I would have put all that in and more! Oh, and then it would have been unreadable – sigh – maybe Mieville wrote a great book after all.

    I’m going to see Mieville at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival in a couple of weeks. Will post my impressions to ‘Unicorn…’

  2. angelaslatter says:

    Aw, T, I reckon you’ll hate it :-).

    Re: The City & The City – I finished it in March. He wrote off his own back, my dear, no publisher input/forcing there. I also doubt he got buckets of money for writing out of his genre 🙂 – it seldom works that way.