The Fisherman by John Langan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Every fisherman is a storyteller.
And you won't BELIEVE what kind of fish got away.
As horrors go, we all know it's a hit-or-miss kind of thing. Some writing is fantastic, some of them have great ideas and thrills, and some of them ride that sweet spot all the way through. This is one of the latter. Our hero may not get too many fish on his forays, but his tragic tale, along with his buddy's tragic tale, sincerely sweeten the tale as it descends, steeply, into some really deep waters.
This book has lots of heart and lots of emotion. On that level, alone, this would have made a very fine psychological thriller that could have gotten away with soooo much less than it did.
But Langan gave us a feast. A real feast. I thought we were going into traditional Lovecraftian territory. Books dredged up from time, creepy circumstances, old horrific histories that are just as deep and terrifying as what was happening in the present... but then the author gave us MORE. And More. And More. And I loved every single second of it.
The scope got pretty damn big. Just like those fish those storytellers like to talk about. But these stories within stories within stories kept getting bigger, more fantastical, and then, eventually, DEEP into uncommon myth, blasting away at the normal Lovecraftian line and giving us something special to sink our sharpened teeth into.
I feel lucky to have read this. This is the kind of gem I'm always keeping my eyes open for. Most of the time, books like this fall rather short of my expectations.
Not this one. This one delivers. On many levels. :)
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