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The Lost District

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A collection of fantastic and horrific stories that deal thematically address the core relationships of ones life, be they parental, first loves, best friends, or lovers (of both the hetero and homosexual variety). The decaying industrial backdrop of England's midlands provides a working class context that is both uniquely English, but universally accessible.

Paperback, 190 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Night Shade
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: weird
It's very difficult to pigeonhole this book into one genre, I guess the best description is dark fiction. There are whiffs of horror, fantasy, a small bit of gore and some sex, both gay and straight. If you think about it, that's pretty much what life is, a little of this and that mixed together into one experience. I will say that these stories are bleak, dark and at times, depressing. Many, though not all, take place in a setting of urban decay. This is one of the few collections I have read ...more
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Joel is a friend of mine and a great writer - I meant to give him 5 stars, but saw just that it was only 4. What am I thinking of, should be 6! His stories are atmospheric, sometimes weird, but always with a realism: the factories, streets, bars, trains and buses of the West Midlands as a backdrop. His stories can be political, poetic, gay, straight, dryly humourous, shocking and unnerving, often all at the same time.
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Mar 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
In these stories Joel Lane gives us some wonderfully pitch-perfect dark urban fantasy/horror. While his prose isn't as poetic as M. John Harrison's and his characterization lacks the psychological plumb-bob of J. G. Ballard, Lane excels in settings, all of which are dark and dangerous and unreal, and the subtle, often grotesque plot twists.
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Lost District and Other Stories by Joel Lane (2006): containing the following stories: The Lost District (2001); The Pain Barrier (1994); The Bootleg Heart (2000); Scratch (1996); Coming of Age (2003); Mine (2006); Prison Ships (1998); Like Shattered Stone (1994); Among the Dead (2005); The Window (2001); The Quiet Hours (2006); Exposure (2001); The Outside World (1995); The Country of Glass (1998); The Night That Wins (2005); Against My Ruins (2004); The Only Game (2006); Contract Bridge ...more
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Don't like short stories but for this I will make an exception - some left shivers down my spine and so well written
K E Olukoya
Aug 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
I read the first story and didn't like it. It hasn't stood the test of time and the story didn't seem to have much point to it. I couldn't gather enough motivation to read any more of the stories with the first one being so awful and so the book was cast in to the heap of the unread accompanied by the words 'away to the charity shop with you!'
Julian White
A fine edition, though the gold stamping and sun-motif text dividers are at odds with the subject matter of most of these stories - the barbed-wire header decorations are more apt. Set mostly in and around Birmingham these short stories reflect urban blight and a seemingly equivalent moral decay (for want of a better term). Nearly all are set in a recognisably contemporary time - one or two in a dystopian future; one, with a superficially different - almost upbeat - tone is set in Devon. The ...more
Mike Kazmierczak
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautifully bleak. That is an excellent way of describing Lane's collection of short stories. They are beautiful to read, extremely poetic in the way that images are quickly and lovingly portrayed. I was continually amazed at how well portrayed the stories were. But at the same time the subject matter is brutal, harsh, emotionally honest and blunt. These are not stories to lightly parse over and continue reading back to back to back. About halfway through the collection, I had to stop and read ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of urban horror stories, this book is definitely for you. Although you shouldn't take "horror" too literally. The writing of Joel Lane is not as straight-forward gory as, say, Clive Barker's, and the supernatural element is mostly absent or subtly hinted. What takes central stage in these stories is love, loss, despair and social interactions between people better left unexplained -all played out under a gloomy, industrial Birmingham setting. Of course, it's still fiction, so be ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent collection of stories that skate the boundaries between horror and mainstream fiction amid disused buildings, decrepit housing estates, and characters weighed down by the emotional baggage of the past, present and future. Individually, the stories are grim - there are few upbeat endings here - and reading the collection as a whole in one go isn't advised (indeed, the repetition of some of the themes might dull the senses, even whilst each story is excellent in its own ...more
Chris Cangiano
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
A really well written series of short stories. The stories range from horror to dark urban fantasy to dark fiction. Lane was a very evocative writer who really brings our the bleak desperation of life in the urban Midlands of England. Recommended
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-fantastika
Last night, one of the best writers of dark fiction past away.

The Lost District is a wonderful introduction to his bleak but beautiful vision, full of urban decay and prose-poetry that sings.

R.I.P., Joel Lane.
Sep 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Although I generally find short story collections a bit unsatisfying, reading this book is a bit like listening to a grunge rock album. It is intense, gripping, oddly sensual, confusing, a bit weird but also fun.
Tom Reed
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
wonderful. dark. disturbingly lovely..
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it
The most depressing book Ive ever read. Ever. There is no light at the end of this tunnel. ...more
Steven Dines
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
May 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
grim grimness in the style of M.John Harrison and Ramsey Campbell.
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Seregil of Rhiminee
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Jan 20, 2014
Justin Dyer
rated it it was ok
Aug 10, 2013
j rees
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Dec 16, 2015
Allen Griffin
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Sep 01, 2013
Thana Niveau
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Aug 16, 2012
Jack Haringa
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Apr 04, 2008
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