The Doll Who Ate His Mother by Ramsey Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review: THE DOLL WHO ATE HIS MOTHER by Ramsey Campbell
This 1976 publication is not my top-favourite of Ramsey Campbell (so far, that's ANCIENT IMAGES and the collection HOLES FOR FACES) but I quite liked it. Unusually, my 5-star rating is not due to the horror and paranormal elements. Instead, I rated it highly due to Campbell's incredible grasp of and ability to delineate, character. This applies to his human inhabitants, but also to animals and to Place. Looking back through my reactions to the novel, I remember many occasions when I marveled at his revelation of character--just when I thought he had peeled back the remaining layers, he demonstrated more! The horror element is well done, and it's subtle, but I shall remember the novel for its characterizations.
[Note: in the case of Mr. Campbell's explication of the "villain's" inner state, the resonances are positively Poe-ish. See for example, "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Telltale Heart."]
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