Jim Dooley's Reviews > Turner

Turner by Karl Drinkwater
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really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read April 3, 2018 to April 4, 2018.

TURNER is a very rough kind of horror without creepy elegance. An excellent illustration would be the first film version of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. When a particularly grisly fate awaits a character we like, the story doesn’t shy away from letting it fall full force. The story can have a satisfactory conclusion, but it often does not ... leaving the Reader to feel that the Heart of Darkness is spreading.

There are some truly grisly moments in TURNER. If you are a person who likes your horror to be more subtle or psychological, it is best to look elsewhere.

There are many elements in it that will be familiar to the well-read horror fan. If I had to narrow them, I would say that TURNER is a cross between THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU and the “Old Gods” works of H.P. Lovecraft. There is a raw feeling to the writing, not really describing more than is necessary, yet describing enough to repulse the more sensitive among us.

In order for such a story to work completely, I need a suspension of disbelief. I’m not saying that I need to think that everything in it could happen. However, I do need to believe the motivations of the characters. That need caused some bumps in the writing for me.

The first issue was how everyone on the island went along with the machinations of the villain. Considering the atrocities committed, I would have to think that SOMEBODY would have been plotting to put an end to them long before the current story got underway.

My second issue is that the villain is very talky. Yes, an argument could be made that there aren’t a lot of folks who can be brought fully into confidence given the circumstances. It did feel a bit, though, like the trait that was spoofed in the first Austin Powers movie.

That said, I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. Wales and the Welsh dialect were unfamiliar to me, so part of my enjoyment was in absorbing the cultural differences. I especially enjoyed the clippings shared from the scrapbook at the end. Maybe cultures aren’t as different as I’d like to think!

I was unfamiliar with the writer, Karl Drinkwater, when I started this. (I was looking for a brisk, engaging change of pace after the much longer “literary” work that I’d just completed reading.) His style impressed me enough that I will be looking for other things he’s written.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 3, 2018 – Started Reading
April 3, 2018 – Shelved
April 3, 2018 –
45.0%
April 4, 2018 –
93.0%
April 4, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Karl (new) - added it

Karl Drinkwater Many thanks for the thoughtful review, I love it when widely-read people can place things within contexts of other works. I have a soft spot for Turner as my first horror/suspense novel, but I think I fixed both issues you mention in later works (Harvest Festival and Lost Solace). You're also right about Lord John being very talky - hence it seemed appropriate for him to have his mouth stopped at the end as the first stage of his comeuppance. :-)


message 2: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Dooley Thank you for both the insight and the kind words, Karl.


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