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Clowns At Midnight

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  26 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Following the breakdown of a long-term relationship, crime novelist David Leeton retreats to remote New South Wales, where he finds himself accepted into the local community and befriended by urbane Sardinian farmer Carlo Risi, an expert on European folklore and ancient religions. Leeton is a coulrophobe: he has a terrible phobia about clowns and related images. Over the c ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by PS Publishing Ltd (first published January 1st 2010)
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Tranylle
Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it
I read this book for the Locus Challenge. For the most part I really enjoyed this book. I don't normally read books in this genre, but the mystery was intriguing and kept me reading to find out just what was going on. There wasn't any swearing or anything bad for most of the book which I appreciated...until I got towards the end, which did have swearing and some fairly graphic parts. Those types of things really discourage me from reading a book, because I don't find them necessary. At the end o ...more
Troy
Mar 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I really liked the middle of this book. The beginning started out slow, but once odd things started happening to the main character, it got really good. Terry Dowling does a great job taking you inside the mind of someone with a phobia. However, the ending left a few questions I really wanted to know the answers to unanswered. It left me feeling a bit unsatisfied.

If you like modern horror mixed with a little fantasy along with a rumination on how modern religion has stolen symbols and ideas from
...more
Adam Nevill
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I read Fowles's The Magus, I did wonder if anyone could replicate the effects of that novel in a supernatural horror novel, and I think this is as close as anyone has been. Some absolutely chilling passages. The end was not to my taste, but that's my taste. But a mesmerising location and mystery for the majority of the story.
Kyla Ward
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Any protagonist over the age of twelve should feel uneasy upon discovering a mysterious tower overlooking their new house. Ritualistic vandalism and references to ancient gods should hone their suspicions, and when their neighbours reveal a hedge maze in their back yard, even the most gung-ho must surely assume this is a horror novel and decamp. But Clowns At Midnight is no ordinary horror novel and David Leeton is not just any protagonist. An author, musician and ex-teacher, he has made confron ...more
Fred Hughes
Sep 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Didn't really finish. Just gave up on it !

Our protagonist is one David Leeton who has a real problem with clowns, in fact he has coulrophia which is an actual fear of clowns. David's fears are even wider than that in that anything that resembles a scarecrow, statue or mask throws him for a loop as well.

To add insult to injury he also has a compulsion to look at the things that he is afraid of. Sort of a ying and yang with him stuck in the middle.

He refers to the various stress levels he feels as
...more
Tim
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Terry Dowling is one of Australia's most respected writers of genre fiction. Here he writes a fascinating and terrifying novel that had me looking around my room for any creepy mannequins/clowns.

I found the "game" aspect of the novel fascinating and it really lead to some really interesting discussions about the roots of religion and how that connected to the things that terrify David Leeton - a coulrophobiac. There were some truly scary set pieces and the way that Dowling builds the tension lea
...more
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Terence William (Terry) Dowling -

“Who’s the writer who can produce horror as powerful and witty as the best of Peter Straub, SF as wondrously byzantine and baroque as anything by Gene Wolfe, near-mainstream subtly tinged with the fantastic like some tales by Powers or Lansdale? Why Terry Dowling, of course.” Locus (Nov 1999)

Born in Sydney in 1947, Terry Dowling is one of Australia’s most awarded,
...more
More about Terry Dowling