Weber Gregston and Philip Strayhorn are best friends. They were at college together; they struggle as nobodies in Hollywood together. Weber soon becomes the most acclaimed director of his generation. Phil is unrecognized for years, and then makes a series of notorious horror films. He has everything; love, fame, money.
Then he takes a gun and blows his head off. Why? Weber hopes the answer is on the video tapes that Phil has left him. But when he plays them, he finds messages from beyond the grave. Step by step, Weber learns that the evil Phil portrayed in his last film is not just slasher gore. He has created something which threatens his friends' lives. And if Weber doesn't put it right, and fast, that evil will extend far beyond a handful of people in Hollywood.
Exploring love and cruelty, creation and ambition, A Child Across the Sky is a brilliant tale of wonder and fear. It is also one of the most important novels of fantastic fiction in recent years.
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A moral tale without a moral
Male readers who enjoy unpleasant quirks.
They all seemed equally unlikeable.
Anger and disappointment.
It's a shame review boxes are so narrowly set out — I can't easily say what I felt about this odd, jumbled work. The writer clearly knows how to write. The buildup of tension is generally quite strong. However I felt no connection with the main characters, and didn't really like any of them — none stood out from the background of self-obsessed insularity and smothering middle-classness. The fetish for film work didn't appeal to me and would, I think, put off many general readers, while the moral links the novel seems to want to make (despite its obsession with amorality) between violent depiction and 'evil' are, I think, merely mundane. The punchline to this meandering, under-structured novel seems to indicate that the purpose of the book isn't to explore a moral viewpoint but to illustrate an amoral one. If narratives exist to give shape and meaning, it makes sense that the illustration of shapeless meaninglessness can be justified as a counterpoint. Alas, it doesn't make for a worthwhile novel.
- Penny Farthing