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a cozy spook story that is practically blood free, and moves at its own inexorable pace, with an intermingled element of romance. Subtle and evocative, it pulls the listener into its ghostly world much as the protagonist is pulled toward the supernatural, with the aid of Dick Hill's quirky and masterful narration
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This was an interesting premise (a ghost story set in Manhattan), and I found T.M. Wright's style interesting as well, but this story had it's flaws.
There is an annoying disconnect with how Abner (the protagonist) is able to see the dead. The story begins with meeting a strange woman on a train who gives him this ability like a sickness, and yet not only is this seemingly pivotal moment ignored later, it also becomes apparent that Abner has seen at least one ghost when he was a young child. The story has a lot of repetition for effect (which I generally approve of) but it moves in a cyclical nature, where whole passages are repeated verbatim with little new insight.
I liked Wright's style almost immediately, but as the story progressed I found myself almost lost at times. I would have liked more grounding in reality, and I think it would have been wise to interweave the more mundane conflicts a little more strongly with the supernatural ones. Even stronger setting at times would have helped.
The thing I found most frustrating about this story was that Abner is acting out of his 'love' for this woman, Phyllis. He goes to great lengths to try and stay near her, but his actions and reactions aren't always consistent. What was a bigger problem for me, is that I was unable to take his love seriously. I couldn't understand where this supposed connection had come from, and it seemed to me more of a sexual fascination rather than anything more. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that - but as far as motivation for why Abner does what he does, I don't see it.
All that said, I felt both the story and the style had a lot of potential. The premise was really intriguing, I think it could have just done with more fleshing out. I liked Wright's style from the moment I heard the preview. I'll probably give him one more chance, though perhaps with a short story this time rather than a novel.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful