Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Midnight Sun by Ramsey Campbell

Midnight Sun is a book that I picked up from my local used bookstore. Overall, I would say that it was a decent horror novel. It did seem to be a bit slow to get going, but otherwise it was pretty good.

This is the story of Ben Sterling. As boy his family dies in a mysterious car crash and he is raised by his aunt. The book begins with him running away so he can visit his old home town of Stargrave, and when he gets there something strange happens involving a cold being. After he is returned to his aunt, he promises to be a good boy and we get several chapters of his childhood. Then he's an adult who is a struggling children's book writer. His aunt dies and he inherits her house, and the house of his parents.  He eventually moves back into his parents' old house and we finally get to the part where weird stuff starts to happen.

As you can guess, it takes quite a while to get to the good stuff, though there are a few killings by the cold monster before then. Even the not-particularly-scary portions of the book aren't boring, but in some ways it almost feels like there are two novels fighting against one another. One is the  non-genre story of a family trying to break into the publishing world, and the other is the story of a boy/man and his encounters with a familial frost monster thing. Separately, either one would make a good story, and while they still work well together, I think they would have been better separate.


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