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October Books 15) Blind Voices

15) Blind Voices, by Tom Reamy

Picked this up two years ago at Worldcon after very much enjoying the Reamy's collection, San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories, and to be honest there's something tragically compelling about the story of the talented up-and-coming writer who died suddenly, thirty years ago next week, just before his first novel was published.

Blind Voices is set in the same fictional Kansas town that forms the background to several of the short stories, but it doesn't really matter for continuity purposes: a travelling freak show comes to town, and brings sex and death in its wake. Some people have described it as Bardburyesque, but I think Reamy actually does better than Bradbury in some respects - in particular, the tone of horror is more gripping where Bradbury sometimes risks becoming twee. The book was apparently not completely finished at Reamy's death, but this was not obvious to me; there's a little unevenness of pacing, but I'd put that down to it being a first novel. Gripping and memorable.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
girfan
Oct. 28th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
I didn't know he died and only had written one novel. All I've ever read was the short stories. Now I will have to look up the novel. Thanks for the info!
blue_condition
Oct. 28th, 2007 01:41 pm (UTC)
Interesting, thanks - Waldrop and Sterling and various others of that Texas circle ("Turkey City Neopro Workshop") who emerged in the mid-70s often say that Reamy was the greatest talent of the group.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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