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Gallows humour: a review of the novel “Smile of darkness” Ramsey Campbell

Financial setbacks and the situation is close to disastrous, pushing the disgraced journalist Simon Lee Sevice to take up the offer, received from his former University teacher. He should write a biography of the once popular, now forgotten silent film era, Tubby Thackeray. The film Tabby is covered by a veil of darkness, and his session the audience from time to time or fell into a state of insanity, or died. During their search of the surviving information about the mysterious clown, Simon, without knowing it, begins to sink into the abyss of madness and realize that something terrible follows him everywhere.

Novel Ramsey Campbell , are well known and respected abroad as a writer in the genre of “horror” – the easiest is characterized as a meeting and a hug from”the Shining” by Stephen king and the movie “In the mouth of madness” by John carpenter. The plot really is a never-ending search, in which the main character every step gets closer to the truth, but only further entangled in the web of the growing nightmare. And this atmosphere page pass great. The book read at times almost physically uncomfortable, but to put it very difficult.

Moreover, the focus of Campbell is that in this viscous pool he pulls’t force the reader follows the narrator, mesmerized by the grotesque and the hectic pace of the narrative. Text happy with the fact that the author is not exchanged on a liter empty descriptions, but it can a few subtle touches to set the mood of any scene. For the most part, very disturbing. This affair is also all right: the maximum limit of predictability of the events, one page. And let the structure of the story in “Smile of darkness” is not smooth (some questions will remain without an explanation, and at the end of the story is straying from the straight path), the function “to scare the reader” the novel performs perfectly. To the extent that after reading the next Chapter drawn to look around.

The story stands out and is distinct farce, and almost surreal absurd scenes. But they don’t pull a smile from them on the back runs a chill. This help and well-disclosed characters. Simon, for example, it is easy to associate with the same kingovskoy Jack TORRANCE from “the Shining” is as good a guy slowly but surely crazy as a sinister otherworldly forces, and unpleasant life situations. Psychologically, the evolution of the hero are shown authentically, and faces a second and even third plans very aptly described.

However, there are aspects that Campbell clearly failed. Very striking improbability and artificiality of the line of Simon’s altercation with an Internet Troll Dumesnil. Well, not a grown man to give so much attention and spend so much effort on valenki network dispute! And make it one of the main backbone of the plot was not the right decision. In addition, the author seems to have never interacted with the kids longer than an hour, because a boy of seven in his novel behaves like a child, but as another “philosopher in his pants.”

“Smile of darkness” showed himself a fine horror novel, with the incomparable paranoid atmosphere and is able to scare and intrigue to the fullest. It’s a great start for the major prose of Campbell in the Russian language, which is simply obliged to continue the translation of other novels of the master.

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