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The Darkest Part of the Woods

di Ramsey Campbell

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

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248782,439 (3.3)6
Ramsey Campbell is the world's most honored living horror writer, with more than twenty World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and other awards to his credit. Hailed as one of the most literate and literary writers of our time, in genre and out, Campbell has been acclaimed as a "master of dark fantasy" by Clive Barker, one of today's "finest writers of supernatural horror and psychological suspense" by the Charleston Post & Courier, the "master of a skewed and exquisitely terrifying style" by Library Journal, "one of the world's foremost horror writers" by the San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle, and a "master of mood" byPublishers Weekly. InThe Darkest Part of the Woods, Campbell introduces readers to the Price family, whose lives have for decades been snarled with the fate of the ancient forest of Goodmanswood. Here, Dr. Lennox Price discovered a hallucinogenic moss that quickly became the focus of a cult-and though the moss and the trees on which it grew are long gone, it seems as if the whole forest can now affect the minds of visitors. After Lennox is killed trying to return to his beloved wood, his widow seems to see and hear him in the trees-or is it a dark version of the Green Man that caresses her with leafy hands? Lennox's grandson heeds a call to lie in his lover's arms in the very heart of the forest-and cannot help but wonder what the fruit of that love will be. And Heather, Lennox's daughter, who turned her back on her father's mysteries and sought sanctuary in the world of facts and history? Goodmanswood summons her as well . . .… (altro)
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A novel on one of my favorite horror themes: When Nature Behaves Unnaturally. This one was a pretty good one.

Campbell builds a sense of unease paired up with ambiguity that amps up almost, but not quite, to the point of dread.

I don't think it would be a spoiler to say that everything he foreshadows does come to pass. Of course we should be concerned about the baby.....Campbell is practically yelling it to us.

A great autumnal read. I recommended it to a friend, she took a look at it and declined on the grounds that her house sets back in the woods and she would be too freaked out by it. Hmmmmm, that's never stopped me from reading stories about ornate but decrepit Victorian homes that sell at low prices to hopeful DIY fixer upper/old house geeks. ( )
  Equestrienne | Jan 5, 2021 |
signed
  bookstopshere | Oct 7, 2019 |
The Darkest Part of the Woods by Ramsey Campbell is an exquisite treatise on the human fascination with those dark shadows and glowing eyes that hide in the mysterious obscurity of the forest, or perhaps, on what it is that hides in the labyrinthine nightfall that lurks inside our skulls.

ONCE YOU SEE YOU GO ON SEEING. Lennox Price

The story takes place in Brichester, a small rural town in England. It could be any town except for the Goodmanswood, a small, ancient forest that haunts the surrounding landscape with legends of witchcraft and the evil necromancer Nathaniel Selcouth.

The Price family has been fascinated with Goodmanswood for many years beginning with the patriarch of the family, Lennox, who is institutionalized due to fluctuating mental issues. In the past, he had studied a hallucinogenic growth that only existed in this mysterious woodland. The mind-altering substance is long gone, but the forest refuses to release its hold on Price, and now, his family. Is the psychoactive element truly some sort of natural growth, or something much more, some supernatural force that procreates madness?

Lennox Price does not simply waste away in the Arbor. His psychosis sweeps through the institution and creates a cult-like following of inmates he leads on an ill-advised field trip to the Goodmanswood. When a long-gone family member returns to England from America revealing an enigmatic pregnancy, the family is reunited, and all become involuntarily entangled in Price’s obsession with the forest.

Except for Price, the human characters on the surface seem like ordinary people until the madness takes control and their complexities are exposed. Readers spend enough personal time with the family to become intimate, to care about them. In addition, it could be said that the main character of the novel is the Goodmanswood itself. The forest breaths, sighs, whispers, guides, and entraps as it lures the Price family into its malignant depths. Like a sleeping god, it engenders dreams and illusions.

The extremely complex, compelling and utterly original plot unravels at a leisured pace. Campbell drops hints like breadcrumbs as he leads mystified readers through the trembling forest. His masterful manipulation of language creates a beautiful mirage of visual images that may urge readers to wonder if they had themselves inhaled the fumes of the magical fungus.

As the plot evolves, it speeds up and the intensity will leave readers breathless as Campbell, a master manipulator, pulls the rug out from under them at the last moment with a shocking, inevitable, and elusive conclusion. Things commonly considered natural and innocent have deeper, larger, cosmic meanings.

As Campbell’s readers have come to expect, the literary quality of the prose is exceptional. Readers will witness the darkness between the trees, smell the rotten leaves, hear the whispering of the breeze as it passes between the trees. The words transmit meaning and mood with exceptional grace. The dialogue is real and often visceral.

The Darkest Part of the Woods is not a book one reads and quickly forgets. The mood lingers, festers, and will no doubt haunt a reader’s dreams with dread of the approach of an inexorable, inescapable presence. The relentless, disturbing mood of the prose will leave readers with germinating questions.

Since the beginning of man’s reign on this planet, legends have described the forest as the home of the gods. Some cultures believe that man’s original form was that of a tree and that souls of the dead perch in treetops awaiting rebirth. So, it could be said that the forest must by its nature be a place of awe, a place of rebirth, reflecting one of Price’s many prophetic statements: The grave shall be cradle.

The Darkest Part of the Forest will challenge, thrill, mesmerize and comes highly recommended.

Take Ramsey Campbell’s hand and follow him into the darkest part of the forest, “Because you were called.” Lennox Price

Rougeski Reads
  Suzanne_Synborski | Dec 21, 2018 |
Ramsey Campbell, in this tale of a family made the catspaw of dark forces, has made a Russian doll of a novel - a tale of supernatural forces that causes great spiritual and psychological anguish told in realistic detail in a precise literate style. His penultimate chapter, where the skeptical heroine faces the horror behind the trees, is a fine example of supernatural, psychological, and literary horror brought together. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Sep 30, 2017 |
Historically I have found Campbell's work to be rather verbose and unengaging. Since this had received good press I thought I'd revisit his work, alas I still found the prose dense, with swathes of pages which did little to propel the story in any meaningful way. Campbell's approach to horror is similar to John Saul's, where the tension is delivered from character driven fear and the creation of an unseen and affecting malevolence, however The Darkest Part of the Woods produces little of either. It's not compensated by any action either, ultimately producing a novel that has rather little to offer. Clearly there is a market for Campbell's work, however I found very little entertainment within the pages, although I was interested in how finished, suggesting the basic premise has value. ( )
1 vota SonicQuack | Aug 8, 2011 |
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Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Ramsey Campbellautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Bowers, DavidImmagine di copertinaautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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Ramsey Campbell is the world's most honored living horror writer, with more than twenty World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and other awards to his credit. Hailed as one of the most literate and literary writers of our time, in genre and out, Campbell has been acclaimed as a "master of dark fantasy" by Clive Barker, one of today's "finest writers of supernatural horror and psychological suspense" by the Charleston Post & Courier, the "master of a skewed and exquisitely terrifying style" by Library Journal, "one of the world's foremost horror writers" by the San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle, and a "master of mood" byPublishers Weekly. InThe Darkest Part of the Woods, Campbell introduces readers to the Price family, whose lives have for decades been snarled with the fate of the ancient forest of Goodmanswood. Here, Dr. Lennox Price discovered a hallucinogenic moss that quickly became the focus of a cult-and though the moss and the trees on which it grew are long gone, it seems as if the whole forest can now affect the minds of visitors. After Lennox is killed trying to return to his beloved wood, his widow seems to see and hear him in the trees-or is it a dark version of the Green Man that caresses her with leafy hands? Lennox's grandson heeds a call to lie in his lover's arms in the very heart of the forest-and cannot help but wonder what the fruit of that love will be. And Heather, Lennox's daughter, who turned her back on her father's mysteries and sought sanctuary in the world of facts and history? Goodmanswood summons her as well . . .

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