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Quentin S. Crisp
All God's Angels, Beware!
Chomu Press
UK Paperback
ISBN 078-1-907681-17-2
Publication Date: 09-12-2012
328 pages, $16.00 / £ 12.00
Date Reviewed: 08-23-2012
Reviewed by: Mario Guslandi © 2012

Index:  Horror  Fantasy  General Fiction

The fourth collection of the surreal, bizarre fiction by British author Quentin S. Crisp still defies categorization. Crisp's introspective, elegant prose now verges supernatural horror, now takes the shape of comedy, now gets downright weird. The narrative is usually carried out in the first person, the narrator being a loner, an outcast, or a man unable to fit in the everyday world.

Previously published in a limited, pricey hardcover edition by Ex Occidente Press, 'All God's Angels, Beware!' is now available as an affordable paperback by Crisp's own Chomu Press. As customary with this writer's s work, the book features excellent material as well as questionable stuff.

Among the latter "A Cup of Tea" is the elegant but pointless report of a jobless man's feelings about the futility of life. "Karakasa" is an overlong piece, a bit on the SF side, where Crisp's imagination is completely on the loose, much to the dismay of the unlucky reader.

But, cheer up, most of the stories are worthy and more than rewarding.

In the intriguing "Troubled Joe," the ghost of a suicide desperately seeks contact with the living. In the enticing "Asking For It," we enjoy a fine psychological game where a lonesome young man is stalking a pretty girl on a subway train in Tokyo.

"Italiannetto" revolves around the affectionate, nostalgic memories of a young Italian boy's crush for a relative of his, the actress and singer Annette Funicello. (At first I was taken aback by the double "n" in the title, but then I've realized that the non-existent Italian word is inspired to one of Funicello's album from the 60's entitled 'Italiannette', that is Italian Annette...)

"The Fox Wedding" is a labyrinthine story continuously shifting from reality to imagination, probing the secrets of Japanese eroticism and revisiting ancient, horrific supernatural myths.

"The Were-Sheep of Abercrave" is a truly superlative tale of surrealistic horror displaying in full Crisp's dark imaginative power.

"Ynis-Y-Plag" is the paradigm of the author's incredible talent and of his irritant flaws. The novelette has a very slow, tedious start lingering for about twenty-five pages on the character and the thoughts of a photographer visiting a Welsh village; then, finally, Crisp gets in control of the plot and produces a real gem — the core of the story — by telling a dark, atmospheric, utterly creepy tale taking place by a river at twilight. If properly shortened, this would be a veritable masterpiece, but even in its present form remains a quite remarkable example of what Crisp, at his best, can create.

Readers unfamiliar with this unique author of weird fiction are strongly advised to take advantage of the opportunity offered by this unusual collection.

Review Archive
All Reviews alphabetized by author.

General Fiction
Non-Genre, general fiction and literature.

Supernatural fiction, supernatural horror and non-supernatural horror.

Science Fiction
Science fiction, science fantasy, speculative fiction, alternate history.

Fantasy, surrealism and magic realism.

Crime, thrillers, mystery, suspense.

Non-Fiction, True Crime, Forteana, Reference.


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