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Atlas of unknown realms, John Connolly (REVIEW)

First collection of stories by John Connolly“Night of the legends” was published in the original language in 2004, in our country, has become accessible only in current, 2018. the Book caused mixed reactions among local fans of horror. She seemed somewhat old-fashioned: when reading the greater part of the stories had the impression that flipping a hitherto unseen things from the heritage of Montague Rhodes James. All like it: pleasant to read, written simply, but, alas, not modern. However, what surprised? Connolly himself admits that M. R. James is his favorite author.

And now, years later, Connolly is the world a new collection called “Music of the night”. How has the creative approach of the author in the intervening period? Avoiding cheap intrigue, let’s face it: for the better. The Azathoth witness, “Music” above “Legends” on the whole head.

And now a little more. Don’t want to be like other reviewers, boring through the story behind the story, but when under one cover a collection of several very different pieces of music, in other words, apparently, will not work…

Let’s start with the best. Such, perhaps, is “Torn satin or five fragments”. The major work of the collection is a five (as you can guess by the title) of stories told by different people, whose lives somehow intersect in search of a mysterious book called “the Atlas of Unknown realms”. “Atlas” (pentalogy, not the book) – perhaps the most Lovecraftian the work Connolly. There is no viscous atmosphere of the masterpieces of Howard Phillips, no wordy descriptions, and piled one on top the other participles and adjectives, not one reference to the Great Ancient, in short, everything that I try to cram into your creation of numerous imitators of Lovecraft. And the mysterious “Atlas”, around which revolve the stories of all five stories, not the “Necronomicon”. Moreover, Connolly considers himself an antagonist of H. p. Lovecraft, very skeptical referring to his work! And yet, reading about the vile arthropods creatures appearing from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere, creepy living book that can change the world habitual to us, terrible Not-God, patiently waiting outside the Universe, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the seeds of the art of antiquity GFL still firmly rooted in the soul John Connolly, and let the shoots. However, reading the “Broken Atlas”, many will remember not only Lovecraft and his successors, but Stephen king with his “Rebirth” and the movie John carpenter’s “In the mouth of madness”. In short, this is a real mystical horror in the entourage of Britain coming to life after the great Massacre.

In “Children of Dr. Lyall” gang of London criminals, desperately wanting to get closer to the top of the criminal world, plotting to Rob a lonely old woman, and here in the story is intricately woven theme of multiplicity of worlds and the problem of clandestine abortions. In “Astropath” dashing another company (this time American bootleggers) Blizzard of the winter night, facing the forest by the undead, known only in folklore, North American loggers. “To “Anatomy of an unknown man” by Frans mier (1637)” takes us to the beginning of the XVII century and introduces a sinister story of the creation of the mentioned paintings. By the way, any info on Miera Internet not issues familiar to the artists, too, shrug, what allows to conclude that the painter and his painting – the fruit of the imagination of Mr. Connolly.

But “Lazarus” horror is not called, however, nothing optimistic in this story no. In it the author steps on the slippery slope of reinterpreting well-known new Testament story of the miracle of the resurrection and puts before the reader two questions: whether there was Lazarus, raised from the dead, truly alive? And whether Jesus did, returning to the mortal earth are able to move and think with the body?

Creepy fantasy “Hollow king” from sophisticated reader will cause a distinct Association with the dark fairytales by Neil Gaiman. Hejmanowski the same spirit, and are two stories of the fantastic library, lost in the English countryside: “Caxton: the library double bottom” and “the Capture of the Holmes”. These stories do not have to be horror nothing, slightly ironic, filled with love for British and Russian (and indeed, global) classics, and once again remind us that great literary characters are truly immortal, unlike his equally great, but, alas, the mortal creators.

Well, now – a couple of spoons of tar (as without them?!). Not particularly successful “Lamia”. The story is about a woman who wants to take revenge on the perpetrator, and resorting to the help of supernatural creatures, unfortunately, predictable as ABC. Miniature “Sleep in winter” about a boy, who saw in the school window of the Ghost, which later turned out them, desire the only puzzled shrug, rhetorically asking “so what?!”, although, maybe someone will see this story and some “philosophical depth.” And finally, the “restlessness”. Banal reminder that sooner or later our loved ones leave us forever, in a package of stories about ghosts.

Completes the collection of essays “I live here”. In it Connolly, following in the footsteps of the king (his non-fiction opus “Dance of death” and “How to write books”) and Lovecraft (“Supernatural horror in literature”), talks about his creative development, on books, read in childhood about how to be a real horror, but also strongly driven by colleagues who imagines himself the inhabitants of the literary Olympus, and frankly rude relating to the fans. But most of the essay is analysis of the works, which became a cult for all fans of the dark genre. You will learn what the author thinks of “Frankenstein,” Mary Shelley, “Dracula” and other works of Stoker, stevensons “the Strange tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, the short stories of Edgar Allan PoE, short stories R. James and Lovecraft, and, in addition, read a lot of warm words in the address of Stephen our king.

What good is Connolly, so it is easy language. Reading “the music of the night”, glide look over the lines without tripping over intricately constructed phrases. In many respects it is certainly the merit of the translator, A. S. Sabrina. Of course, the roughness kind of “pulled the trigger” or “brewed coffee” there, he’ll prick his eyes, but it was probably an oversight of the editor.

And now to sum up. I would not write big words, like “new collection should be on the shelf of every lover of horror and mysticism”. No, I think those who categorically did not like “Night of legends”, “Music of the night” is unlikely to impress. Another thing – readers who are “Legends” in General like, but there is a certain sense of dissatisfaction (I’m just one of those). That’s it, I get a collection I sincerely recommend. And other lovers of dark short fiction this volume will adorn bookshelves. The “wow” effect is not worth waiting, but some nice evening guaranteed.

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