This short novel, first published in Houses Without Doors, follows professor William Standlish as he travels to England on an Esswood Fellowship, which is awarded to very few to study their private library and files for literary research; he leaves his pregnant wife at home. I was disappointed in this book. The story is vague and convoluted. Time is fluid, at one moment looking at the present papers, then showing a time far past, and then uncertain if the events take place past, present, or future – all with little indication of which is which. The ending is not satisfying, and the language and pacing try to mimic turn-of-the-century Gothic styles of writing unsuccessfully.
14. Ray Bradbury, The Homecoming, Illustrated by Dave McKean, 56 pages, Dark Fantasy Hardback, 2006.
Ray Bradbury first published this classic Halloween short story in Mademoiselle magazine in 1946. A family reunion of monsters, as seen by a young boy who was born normal, who wishes he had something special about him that made him fit in with his family. It’s sweet, and sad, and very precious. This re-issue is illustrated by Dave McKean, one of my favorite artists.