“An insidiously disquieting tale, flavourfully told. What begins as a dark comedy of book collecting gradually accumulates a profound sense of occult dread, which lingers long after the book is finished. It’s a real addition to the literature of the uncanny and an impressive debut for its uncompromising author.” RAMSEY CAMPBELL, author of the Brichester Mythos trilogy
Pulped fiction just got a whole lot scarier…
Few books are treasured. Most linger in the dusty purgatory of the bookshelf, the attic, the charity shop, their sallow pages filled with superfluous knowledge. And with stories. Darker than ink, paler than paper, something is rustling through their pages.
Harris delights in collecting the unloved. And in helping people. Or so he says. He wonders if you have anything to donate. To his ‘children’. Used books are his game. Neat is sweet; battered is better. Tears, stains, broken spines – ugly doesn’t matter. Not a jot. And if you’ve left a little of yourself between the pages – a receipt or ticket, a mislaid letter, a scrawled note or number — that’s just perfect. He might call back.
Hangover Square meets Naked Lunch through the lens of a classic M. R. James ghost story. To hell and back again (and again) via Whitby, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Moors. Enjoy your Mobius-trip.
I jumped at the chance to read this with it being a horror and only 120 pages long. But I have to say that it isn’t the kind of horror that I was expecting….No blood and guts in this story I’m afraid. The Pale Ones for me was a weird, creepy and engrossing read when we meet book collector Harris.
Harris is a character a found very intriguing, with descriptions where I could actually smell the pages while we follow Harris on his hunt for old books. Us book lovers love a good book and I couldn’t help feeling what was the deal with this guy. The more I read and got wrapped up in his disturbing world the more I wanted to know.
The story is told in first person and the author has wrote it in a way, where we slowly get inside his head. Making this a atmospheric unique read.
Nothing like I have read before in fact this is the first book that I have read like this, the story gives a modern, contemporary horror feeling. I am looking forward to what the author comes up with next.
Thank you to Anne Cater for a copy and inviting me to take part on the tour.
Bartholomew Richard Emenike Bennett was born in Leicester, the middle son of an American father and English mother. He has studied and worked in the US and New Zealand, and has a First Class Honours degree in Literature from the University of East Anglia. Since graduation he has had various jobs: primarily software developer, but also tutor, nanny, data-entry clerk and call-centre rep, project manager and J-Badger (ask your dad), painter and decorator, and (very slightly) handy-man, working at locations all across the United Kingdom. He has also been known to dabble in online bookselling.
The Pale Ones is his first published work, although he has been writing fiction continuously, long-form and short, since 2002. Currently he is at work on a novel about three children who experience a long, wintry December filled with gifts. Of the unusual variety. And trials. Of the trying variety.
Currently he lives in southeast London, with his wife and two young children. He is a longstanding member of Leather Lane Writers Group, and since childhood, a dedicated reader of all manner of books, but especially tales of the “horror”. And in fact, some of the paper-packed rooms that feature in The Pale Ones bear a remarkable resemblance to locales in his own abode…