Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Man Behind The Glass: A Victorian Gothic Tale by Greg Howes

I was recently kindly sent a copy of this 2014 original and fascinating story, 'The Man Behind The Glass' by Greg Howes, the author.  It is a unique book, I've never read anything like it. It is richly immersed in the atmospheres, sights, sounds, and (sometimes very unpleasant) scents of Victorian London.  His writing is highly descriptive to all the senses, the scenes are vividly brought to life, almost as if you are experiencing them yourself, a sensation that can be lacking in many modern tales.  The use of lavish descriptions are one of the elements that I love about Victorian writers, and Greg Howes does have a strong Victorian influence which shines through.  The novel keeps you intrigued throughout; one continually wonders where things are heading and what will be the outcome.  It is hard to put down, though I did slowly take my time to finish it, slowly digesting what had just happened.

I will leave the rest of this to the synopsis on the back of the book, as I couldn't sum it up any better:

"The Man Behind The Glass is based around a character called Septimus Blackwood, a Victorian photographer with a difference.  The tale is set in London's East End in the year 1860.  A mysterious Gothic adventure of a man's quest to capture life and cheat death through photography.  Septimus races against time to discover his family's long lost legacy buried deep amongst the forgotten rivers and cellars of old London.  Unbeknown to him a mysterious old woman looks on..."

"The story, along with its highly satirical characters escort the reader on an emotional journey into a world of intrigue, suspense and the supernatural.  Atmosphere seeps out of every gulley of this twisting and ever turbulent road; darkness and light, creation and calamity.  Encounter magical discoveries that will pick the pocket of your dreams for now and evermore."

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