logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Ramsey-Campbell
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-09-13 10:02
or "For The Rest of Their Lives"
Obsession - Ramsey Campbell

Obsession is a book and a half. From the afterword I learned that the title was forced on the story by the publisher and Ramsey Campbell wanted "For The Rest of Their Lives". While Campbell's preferred title would have grabbed me more quickly, I do think "Obsession" suits the story, which deals with the destructive power of an obsessive idea - that having wished for an received something four children would spend the rest of their lives repaying, well at least in the case of one of the four.

 

<spoiler>Peter is a hero when he saves his grandmother's life, but when she moves in with him and his parents life becomes difficult for all of them. He wishes she would leave, and she does so by dying. The guilt he carries poisons his adult life and drives him to do terrible things.</spoiler>

 

It's powerful stuff and the clever twist makes it tragic. So much is lost and so little gained for a moment's breathing space. The maxim "Be careful what you wish for" has never been more apropos.

 

I read this as part of Halloween Bingo. Assuming it is called the planned square is SMALL TOWN HORROR.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-09-12 09:57
Reading progress update: I've read 170 out of 283 pages.
Obsession - Ramsey Campbell

I love Ramsey Campbell. Many of his books are magical and demonic including this one about a group of four friends who wish for something as children and have to repay as adults. My favourite line so far is - "his rooms suddenly felt large as loneliness".

 

I am reading this one as part of Halloween Bingo - probably for the Small Town square.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-09-04 16:23
He Continues To Dazzle
Obsession - Ramsey Campbell

I woke up this morning - having finished Obsession late last night - feeling that Ramsey Campbell's excellent 'pact with the Devil' novel was a 5 star novel that somehow changed into a 4 star novel before its conclusion. I still loved it, but I did not feel compelled to up my rating, even though this morning has brought me the feeling that Campbell did sew all the terror up quite nicely...better than I gave him credit for, while I pondered my reactions to the sum of the book's parts last night. A wonderful Horror tale, but not as great as Nazareth Hill, or The Count of Eleven.

 

In the small town of Seaward, around 1958, four kids - chums, three boys, one girl - sell their souls to the Devil when he comes calling, offering to solve whatever their biggest problem is at that time. They're not spoilt whiners; they actually have some fairly major shit going down in each life - parents really can screw kids up - but the are not old enough to know that things change, time heals...and you don't sign a letter from the Devil that will solve a dilemma but make you pay later. It's not even like they wish for a million dollars or their own island paradise; their wishes, if granted, will just alleviate angst, teenager pain; you have to be able to spot a raw deal, but it's tough when you're young, and the Devil would know that. And if you're wish is "I wish my grandmother wasn't here anymore..." - uh, quick tip: once the signed letters have been grabbed by a breeze and whisked away (oh, that means they're mailed, kids, believe me - this is the Devil, supernatural stuff; forget all this "oh, I now we won't get our wishes" business just cuz they blew away; they are mailed, and you signed)...once the signed letters are delivered, there's no point begging the Devil, hours later, with "okay, when I wished my grandmother gone, that doesn't mean I want her dead, please please please don't kill her. please please, not what I meant.".

 

The too lateness of regret, and the Devil doesn't listen to that crap.

 

I assumed they sold their souls, but about 24 years later, they are still alive and all languishing in Seaward - and that's when payment is due. And payment is misery, misfortune, death and tragedy. A happy future on Earth seems to be what got signed away. All for a happier - well, less unhappy - childhood. So Peter, Steve, Jimmy, and Robin have to wonder: "can we wriggle out of this? because if not, we are doomed".

 

I thought a few sequences - just a few, particularly in the back half - were a bit rushed...which is a very odd sensation to get from my favorite Horror writer. However, this morning I am more in tune with the last 50 pages of the book than I was last night. I see the whole effect, and how the ending actually rounds it off. I'm staying away from "If it were me, I would have written it this way...". It works. Working perhaps better were the ghosts, the effects of the curse, and the way I really came to care about these characters, and wanted them to somehow get around the horrible mistake of their childhoods.

 

Campbell's The Long Lost was a 4 star book all the way through. Obsession hit me a bit different; it's a 5 star book that became a 4 star book - and who knows, that's just what happened to me; maybe it's really a 1 star book, or 5 stars because I just need a few more hours today to completely come around to how the circle got closed. I'll reflect a little more...this book will be on my mind for quite a while. But I'm not doing any quick-fix deals with the Devil, just for instant clarity or epiphany. I get it.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-09-04 01:18
Reading progress update: I've read 134 out of 247 pages.
Obsession - Ramsey Campbell

y’know, I don’t believe in the supernatural...until Ramsey Campbell turns me into a mouse.

 

I love this one.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2019-09-03 15:15
Reading progress update: I've read 68 out of 247 pages.
Obsession - Ramsey Campbell

my favorite Horror writer strikes again. I'm in awe.

 

for no good reason, I thought this was Psych Horror - non-Supernatural - but it's the opposite...pact-with-the-Devil stuff. four kids - accidentally, I guess you could say - signed their souls away while making reckless wishes (that whole sequence was done so beautifully), and now the book has jumped ahead to when they are adults. I guess they'll have to pay for favors granted.

 

anyway, I haven't read or seen a good Horror tale with the Devil in it, for a while. this feels like it could become a favorite among my Ramsey Campbell favorites.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?