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Malerman has combined his knowledge of two topics close to his heart, horror cinema and horror fiction, to deliver a compelling and tense tale of professional rivalry and obsession that takes a very dark and sinister turn in the end. Gordon Ghastle and Allan Yule are very believable as characters, as is the protagonist, but the two directors and their mutual contempt are the main focus of the story. From similar beginnings, their careers take slightly different paths, but they are both in the ascendancy. They soon reach an apex, the height of their careers where they realise that, in order to outdo the other, they must do something truly daring. And horrific. But Malerman leaves some of the details of the final act ambiguous, allowing us to consider the lengths and depths these very human characters will strive for, and achieve, to finally claim the prize of being better than the other. Written in a wonderful style that is becoming the trademark of this talented storyteller.
The always impressive Mr. Malerman has given us a story of two increasingly insane film directors who develop a growing rivalry as their work plunges ever deeper into madness. The “Yule” of the title is the name of one of the directors; the book has nothing to do with Xmas.
I read Josh Malerman's Bird Box last year and was blown away by how creepy and terrifying it was. So, at this point, I'll pretty much pick up anything he writes. Ghastle and Yule, while not in the same creepy league as Bird Box, has Malerman's style, which I find sophisticated and refreshing all at once. His characters Gordon Ghastle and Alan Yule come off the page just as you want characters to do. If you're looking for a quick literary hit, this is a good one.
Had just finished Bird Box, and wanted another book by Malerman. Saw this one for 99 cents and jumped at it. Little did I know that it was a waste of money even at that price. There was not much of a story, but I thought maybe it was leading up to a surprise ending. The story ended with no rhyme or reason, not even a hint as to the relationship between Ghastle and Yale. Should I give Malerman another shot?
A creative, enigmatic narrative which leads the reader down a path that reveals much about how film art is created, appropriated, and consumed by a willing public starving for titillation, shock, and puzzle pieces to fit together. Each of Malerman's distinctive films-within-a-narrative help reinforce the general mystery of the narrative's main thread. These tiny film tidbits and pieces are like a maniac has chopped up a collection of bodies and dropped a synechdoche of select parts for forensics to postulate over what each whole might look like. Brilliantly organized, this story will leave you wanting to see each of Ghastle's and Yule's films made into reality.
Malerman follows up Birdbox with an odd little story that contains great visuals. I found myself picturing the scenes as they are described, you can almost visualize the art of the scenes as they would be seen through the directors eyes. Enjoyed as a quick read.