Last year to honor my favorite writer’s birthday I took a look at several of his novels. This year we’re going to check out a few of his novellas and a novelette. Campbell is a master at creating the feeling of increasing unease and dread that mounts with each turned page.
1. “Needing Ghosts” (1990) – Simon Mottershead is a writer who finds himself struggling through a surreal, nightmarish day. Everything is off-kilter in this novelette filled with dreamlike imagery that keeps the reader in the haze Mottershead endures as he tries to discover what it all means.
2. “The Last Revelation of Gla’aki” (2013) – This novella follows the events from Campbell’s amazing short story “The Inhabitant of the Lake” (1964). This one follows Leonard Fairman, an Archivist for Brichester University, as he travels to the small seaside town of Gulshaw to acquire the nine volume series of ancient books known as THE LAST REVELATIONS OF GLA’AKI. Once there he finds out that each volume is held by a different townsperson and that he’ll need to meet with each individually to get the books. After each meeting, he’s told where he must go for the next book forcing him to stay much longer than expected. The townspeople are odd and strangely reverential to him as though he’s someone of great importance. A subtle eeriness pervades the story, hinting something unnatural is taking place in Gulshaw and that Fairman is a part of more than he comprehends.
3. “The Long Way” (2008) – This novelette focuses on a boy who walks to his wheelchair-bound uncle’s retirement village every Saturday to help him buy groceries. The route takes him past a section of housing that has been vacated due to its proximity to a wooded area frequented by criminals. Through the doorway of one of those abandoned houses, the boy notices an obscured figure that appears to be leaning on sticks. There’s something unnatural about the way it moves incrementally closer to the open doorway each time he passes. Like with everything Campbell writes, the atmosphere is charged with potential menace. This is another tale of subtly-increasing supernatural menace.
Previous Ramsey Campbell-related Horror Delve posts:
Holes For Faces Collection: https://horrordelve.com/2014/09/20/holes-for-faces-by-ramsey-campbell/
Hungry Moon Novel Review: https://horrordelve.com/2013/11/16/review-of-hungry-moon-by-ramsey-campbell/
My Top Ten Favorite Horror Short Stories: https://horrordelve.com/2013/09/25/my-top-ten-favorite-ramsey-campbell-short-stories/