Dec 19, 2019

Advent Calendar: 19th Wormhole

2019 was big on good literary horror with a touch of weird - here is one of the bests!

T.E. Grau
I am the River 
İnci says: Having devoured this within a day and a half during a sick leave, I was taken aback, dismayed, yes bewildered that it is only now that I discovered the unusually talented author that T.E. Grau is…
In the aftermath of Vietnam, Israel Broussard is a broken man - damaged, half mad, battling insomnia, crippled by paranoia and hiding in the slums of Bangkok. A mysterious and spooky incident impels him to go and finally face that fateful night where things went so very wrong for Israel, forcing him to reclaim what is left of his life.
“I Am the River” is a beautifully, beautifully written ghost/redemption story of the unusual sort that uses the “Vietnam as an experience of brokenness/madness/paranoia” trope to its full extent to create a base atmosphere, mixing it with elements of Asian horror and of lovecraftian mystery.
And again - Grau has a way with words! It is sentences like “The back of the man’s neck looked like a giant thumb with the nail pulled out at the neck” or “My lungs unfold and my arms and my legs come back to me while my brain waits and my heart remembers its rhythm” that put a smile on my face despite the devastation nature of the story. The fever dreamy descriptions of madness that dominate mainly the first chapters of the book are wonderful, although they decrease throughout the book and the plot seems to take the overhand -clever pacing, really.
So, fans of : ghost stories with an unusual touch, Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Asian horror, literary horror, cosmic horror - this extraordinary combination is for you!

No comments:

Post a Comment