Something Stirs

November 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Reads) (, )

stirsSomething Stirs by Charles L. Grant

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Something Stirs is another of Grant’s typical quiet horror novels. This is good or bad, depending on how you feel about his books. They’re atmospheric, character driven, and sometimes obtuse, which means the plots are a little light, but man, does he know how to string some words together. After reading so many of them (this book marks number thirty-three), I’ve grown accustomed to his style, but Something Stirs isn’t quite his best effort.

This book seems to be Grant’s take on Stephen King’s It, since it’s about something menacing a group of teenagers. That’s about the only similarity, but it came five years after King’s novel, so one has to wonder if it influenced the book. Like It, the cast of characters in the book is large, enough so that I had a difficult time keeping track of everyone. I could name all of the seven Losers (first and last name) to win a bet, but I’m not sure I could name four of the main characters of this book if my life depended on it.

The story also felt unfocused, since Grant was pulling in not just the characters, but also their fears. The plot had a pivot around which everything else balanced, but with so much going on, and with Grant typically dancing around his descriptions to tease out tension, it was easy to lose track of the story.  Still, most of the joy of reading a Grant novel is his atmospheric narrative, so it’s hard to quibble over something as minor as, say, the main plot.

So, I’m one book closer to reading all of Grant’s horror novels. I have four left (Fire MaskRaven, and the two X-Files books), and that will be one more reading project I can cross off the list. It’s been a fun ride so far, and yeah, I think I’m going to be a little sad to see it come to an end.

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