59. “Horror of the most enjoyably reckless stripe”: Jonathan Barnes on Forrest in TLS

The week before last I was mainly engaged in the making of sandcastles (which I concede is by no means as gothic as ‘making’ living beings out of body parts or ‘making’ a bargain with the Deceiver.) But being so engaged and out of the country I missed a write-up for Doctor Forrest in the Times Literary Supplement (August 5 2011, p.20), which is of course also located behind the subscriber paywall. It was of special interest to me on the face of it since written by the novelist Jonathan Barnes, author of The Somnambulist and The Domino Men; and having now managed to source a copy I must gratefully say it’s as pleasing a write-up of my novel as I would ever wish for, its quotable bits including:

‘A horror novel of the most enjoyably reckless stripe… the narrative’s cumulative effect is memorable and potent, particularly in its conjuring of a world of animal savagery and relentless predation… full of dark skies and storm clouds, thick with ancient sign and symbol, with worms, snakes, masks, mirrors; above all, with the copious spilling of blood. The tone is morbid, flesh-creeping… the explanation, when it comes, is satisfyingly lurid.’
Jonathan Barnes, TLS


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