Tag Archives: vampires

51. Kevin Jackson in The Independent on Doctor Forrest: “A glimpse into Hell”

I’m really thrilled to report this review of Doctor Forrest from Friday’s Independent, written by Kevin Jackson, who has a great deal of first-rate form in this general subject area. For that reason it’s especially meaningful and gratifying to me that Jackson writes:

‘Kelly has managed to produce one of those rare hybrids: a book which has the robust narrative drive of genre fiction but also the thoughtfulness and stylistic flair of good literary fiction.’

As a thematic side-note I’m also really pleased that Jackson saw fit to draw attention to the ‘mid-life’ element of the novel’s plotting and its characters – as he thumbnails them, ‘men in their fifties who are comfortable and competent in their own fields but uneasy and at times powerless in their family lives.’ He highlights the reference to Dante’s famous selva oscura, and nicely proposes that ‘intrigues, brutal murders and the supernatural’ are the book’s ‘way of sounding the panic terror that underlies any mid-life crisis.’
I can happily return the compliment to Kevin Jackson as he is the author of a quite phenomenal range of books, including one that is a long-time favourite of mine in the field of cinema studies, Schrader on Schrader and Other Writings. He’s a filmmaker too, originally a documentarian in the arts field but I note that lately he’s turned his hand to the gothic high style with a number of short fiction films, perhaps inspired by his 2009 publication Bite: A Vampire Handbook. At any rate, a quick scour of YouTube has yielded the following delights:


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25. “Richard T Kelly puts his original stamp on the gothic horror genre”: Louise Welsh on Doctor Forrest in the FT

I was pleased to see that the FT asked the excellent Scottish novelist and broadcaster Louise Welsh to review Doctor Forrest for this weekend’s edition of the paper, and her write-up exhibits an easily learned appreciation of some of the great works by which I was influenced, most eminently Stevenson’s Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. That she feels I managed to do something fresh with this time-honoured material is something I’m very gratified by.

‘Overreaching scientists whose morals lag behind their professional abilities are as much a staple of gothic horror as asylums, vampirish beauties, graveyards, doppelgängers and dead people who refuse to lie down. Richard T Kelly’s The Possessions of Doctor Forrest features all of the above and more… Kelly has embraced the gothic and he gleefully acknowledges his literary forebears… There is a pleasure in anticipating how a well-known tale will play out this time and, in The Possessions of Doctor Forrest, Richard T Kelly has put his own original stamp on the genre.’

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