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The grin of the dark
Ramsey Campbell
Adult Fiction CAMPBEL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Horror Grand Master Campbell (The Overnight) draws on the eeriness of clowns, silent comedians and wordless struggles to communicate in this unsettling surrealist fable. Disgraced film critic Simon Lester is writing a book on obscure silent film star Tubby Thackeray, whose outrageous shenanigans caused riots and madness in his audiences. Thanks to Thackeray's blacklisted status and nasty habit of paranormally pestering Simon, research on the book is as difficult and tedious as Simon's personal life, which decays as he struggles to demonstrate his competence while wrestling with forces that are swiftly driving him insane. Campbell's impeccable grasp of interpersonal dynamics makes Simon's confusion all the more cringe-worthy, though the narrative tension stumbles over meticulously reproduced, seemingly endless Internet arguments, and when the characters can't communicate with one another, they have trouble reaching the reader, too. The tale sometimes bows under its own weight, but mostly stands as a fine example of good scares delivered with class. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Out-of-work film critic Simon Lester lives on the ever-shrinking largesse of his girlfriend's parents while he searches for work. When a former professor of his offers him an advance to write a biography of forgotten silent film comedian Tubby Thackeray, Simon jumps at the chance to make his mark in the world of film--until he discovers how elusive information about his subject is. As his world begins to disintegrate, Simon hears disembodied laughter and sees a disturbing grinning clown everywhere he looks. Campbell (Secret Story; The Overnight) is one of horror's premier writers, and his ability to draw out the eerie and macabre from the tiniest of details places him firmly at the top of the list of creators of subtle and lasting terror. A strong addition to most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Simon Lester
Writing a book on obsure silent film star comedian Tubby Thackeray; determined to find out the truth behind Tubby's disappearance.
Film critic

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