Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Books #8 and #9
This paperback was listed as forthcoming on Amazon for ages, and then it never forthcame and the link disappeared, so I bought a UK edition used via Amazon. Even though his novels tend to be uneven, I enjoy Campbell's prose so much I don't like to miss them. I enjoyed Thieving Fear because it reminds me of many old-school Campbell books about a malevolent dead person trying to invade the world by using the living: The Nameless, or The Influence, or The Grin in the Dark, or half-a-dozen others. But Thieving Fear also includes elements of my fave Campbell novel, Incarnate, where dreams bleed into reality and really wreck everyone's day. Thieving Fear is not as good as the early ones, but it's pretty good. I wish Campbell would rely less on misunderstood dialogue as a method of characterization because it's too difficult for a reader to try and go back and figure out who was supposed to have said what, but I dug it. The climax is over-the-top and somewhere between Clive Barker and HPL, but that's half the charm.
This historic novel posits that Josef Breuer and Frederich Nietszche worked together to create the "talking method" with young Sigmund Freud coaching Breuer at dinner. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The Antichrist never met Breuer, but he could have, and the co-founders of psychoanalysis were indeed mining some of the same territory as the often incapacitated Zarathrustrian fetishist. So the verdict is fun, if you're into novels about psychoanalysis. It's certainly no The Manticore, but it's pretty damn good.