Robert Beveridge's Reviews > Some of Your Blood

Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon
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's review
Jan 22, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: finished, cle-pub-lib

Theodore Sturgeon, Some of Your Blood (Carroll and Graf, 1961)

In the world of what we shall call "psychological fiction," for lack of a better term (to wit: that fiction that deals with a person being psychoanalyzed, psychologized, and/or psychiatrized), Theodore Sturgeon's short novel Some of Your Blood occupies a very odd position. It s recognized by the Horror Writers' Association as one of the Top 40 horror novels of all time (despite it being more of a novella) despite not really being a horror novel. Yet it is largely unknown to the larger mass of horror fans (look at the number of reviews written at Amazon. A backlist tile from Stephen King may have five to seven hundred customer reviews (The Stand seems to be the king, with seven hundred fifty-five); Some of Your Blood has six. What's up with that?

Maybe it's all about the presentation. Some of Your Blood is about a guy who hits a superios officer during his army days, and gets sent to a psychiatric facility for observation. On the surface, he seems to be perfectly all right; his doctor's CO wants him out, they need the bed. His doctor, on the other hand, senses something deeply wrong with the prisoner's autobiography.

The autobiography takes up the first seventy pages (short the beginning frame setting everything up) of the novella, and it alone is an amazing piece of writing, with a gentle wit about it and a naïve, but subtle, eagerness to please. Once we are out of the autobiography, and into the doctor's notes and correspondence with his superior officer, things get even more interesting. The prisoner is not all he seems...

This is a stunning little tale, neatly wrapped, waiting for the masses to discover it. Please, do so at your earliest opportunity. **** ½
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