The Wine-Dark Sea
Since his death several years ago, British writer Aickman's reputation has continued to grow among connoisseurs of the horror story. Unlike much of the current form, full of blood, monsters and melodrama, Aickman's stories achieve a quieter, more subtle and, in several ways, more lasting sense of disquiet. His lucid, finely tuned prose moves impercept ...more
Curiously, the title story was my least favorite in the book. I didn't read the eight longish stories (averaging 30-40 pages each) in sequence but as the mood took me. The last four tales I found the most intriguing, especially "Never V ...more
You see the thing about Aickman is that even when the stories aren't quite as interesting and gripping as the others (such as "Growing Boys", "The Fetch" and "Never Visit Venice"), they are still a pleasure to read because his prose is so engaging. I whole heartedly agree with S.T. Joshi when he said: "There are few writers who are as purely plea ...more
I would classify his stories,for the most part,as fantasies as well as horror stories.He is very good at descriptions of people and places so that you feel that you are connected ...more
He waited for an instant, but she looked up no more. He continued on his way more slowly, and feeling more alive, even if only for moments. For those moments, it had been as if he still belonged to the human race, to the mass of mankind.
These stories from ...more
In style and approach, the stories are far removed from contemporary modes of horror. The Wine-Dark Sea is more in the vein of T ...more
This is my first exposure to Robert Aickman's work, so I can't corroborate the truth of Straub's claim. But I can say the man's good, really good. Sure, the quality of these eight stories is uneven. "Into the Wood" is perfection. "The Trains", "Your Tiny Hand Is Frozen", and "The Inner Room" aren't ...more
Several did not feel like horror to me, but all were deeply strange in a very British manner. The overall effect was something like reading an updated M.R. James. There are hauntings, both rural and urban. There are family secrets hinted at, though never divulged. In a very few ...more
Aickman is very good at creating an atmosphere of unease, but his language is so proper and restrained even when he is describing sex or murder that it effectively created a wall that kept me from being fully immersed. ...more
Aickman bridges the stylistic gap between classic horror, as written by practitioners such as M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen etc and the new wave of horror, as represented by such writers as Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub and Fritz Leiber. His stories are unique and if you haven't had the chance to check him out, then you really must. The Wine Dark Sea displays Aickman at his very best. From the sensuality of the title story, to the nightmarish rural surreality of the Trains, from ...more
I'm so excited to have finally started working through my little pile of Aickmans, and that I have ...more
The stories here seem longer than the other two collections I've read and I think that works well for Aickman's style. You can really "settle into" these stories.
Aickman's anti-modernist views came through in this collection more clearly than in the previous two I've read. These build throughout and are released poignantly in the final story "Into the Wood."
The Wine-Dark Sea - This has a rather familiar theme ...more
This is the first time that I read a book of Robert Aickman.
Although he seems a very notable and unique writer, some of his stories didn't appeal to me at all.
Aickman uses the English language beautifully. In lots of parts I was really amazed by the skill and artfulness of his writing style. The stories are really strange and unique. I really liked the "The Inner Room" , "Your Tiny Hand Is Frozen" and "The Fetch". "The Inner Room" is probably my favorite, it made me shiver.
If you are a love ...more
Short story collection. May 26, 2014
I left a few of these unread, which is a thing I often do with short story collections. Squirreling morsels away for later.
I put a library hold on this book a very long time ago, and by the time they gave up on their hypothetical wandering copy and got a new one, I'd totally forgotten why I wanted it. I must have had some reason; maybe someone quoted a story on Tumblr, or I read an essay about Aickman's work, or someone at work told me to read it. But function...more
He stories here often revolve around a middle aged male and some mysterious or magical woman. Sometimes nymph like, or simply other worldly. So his women are not cliched and central to or as strange as other parts his stories. They are usually strong but also dangerous if not deadly.
One exception was the beleaguered mother of “Growing Boys” who finally breaks free of her monstrously larg ...more
Co-founder and longtime president of the Inland Waterways Association, an organization that ...more