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Book Reviews: Children Of Lovecraft, part 2 + A Head Full Of Ghosts

Children Of Lovecraft edited by Ellen Datlow, part 2

On These Blackened Shores Of Time
A family are struck by tragedy when their son is swallowed by a sinkhole caused by an old mine. His parents look into the mine’s history. This is an excellent story from the author of ‘Dark Advent’ which I’d love to read. The parents negative response leads to apprehensive ponderings and misunderstood concepts and the worst possible decisions. As well as cruel revelations.

Best Lines:
“How is that possible? That can’t be possible.”

“Fool enough to believe he still had a future there.”

“Detailed no geography I could recognise, its text in no alphabet I knew.”

“The kind of person whose handshake would send you looking for the nearest faucet.”

“It’s always delicious when someone’s celestial illusions are shattered.”

“Wanted to go in there willingly.”

“Strange people with strange agendas.”

Bright Crown Of Joy
A hilariously heinous tale about the end and a character’s unwillingness to accept reality.

A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
The Barrett clan are torn apart when their eldest daughter Marjorie displays signs of mental illness. As she worsens, her parents end up the stars of a hit reality TV show about their daughter’s possession. 15 years later, the youngest daughter, Merry, recalls the events that took place when she was 8 and the truth, or is it, emerges.

Merry is the world’s most annoying and dumb child. Her sister displays inherent otherness, her mother has a disastrous disconnect and the family home is a scene of unmitigated horror as civic morality is rejected. Readers are assailed by people acting like full-blown maniacs, social justice blogging and nobody taking moral reasonability for anything.

The ending is ambiguous but there is never any readily apparent reason for why the family agreed to appear on reality TV so they could be pitied, sneered at and derided. Merry has no sharp perceptions and is incurious as high emotions rage and everyone has a hilarious lack of self-awareness. This was okay but was over-hyped and was not commendable, solidly grasped or assuredly projected.

Best Line:
Mom didn’t like his yelling and its wildly inconsistent usage.”
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