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It's a shame that the book is so self-consciously concerned with its own cleverness, really. There are pages and pages concerned with Simon's online arguments with an IMDb troll who likes playing word games, and the endless not-quite-anagrams and pointed misspellings are irritating.


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The entire subplot with Simon's girlfriend's parents is ultimately pointless, too; in fact, Simon's entire social life doesn't really serve much of a purpose. It's just padding; and stressful padding, at that, since the book constantly wants us to be concerned with what Simon's future in-laws are up to. Parts of the novel are creepy, but only if you can ignore some really awkward prose; you have to really trust in the story to eventually make sense in order to get through the really torturous bits, and if you manage that you'll probably feel betrayed by the ending.

The problem with The Grin of the Dark is mostly that the middle section goes on for too long: the introductory bit is too keen to get into the world of creepy grinning men around every corner, and the ending isn't meaty enough. It's a shame, but ultimately the book's only lingering impact is to make you feel like taking a nap to clear your head a bit. View the discussion thread.

Sign up for our daily newsletter Newsletter. It's obvious. But does Ramsey Campbell's take on this horror trope offer anything new - or even entertaining - to it? Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. Tubby's work carries the unmistakable stamp of the macabre. People literally laughed themselves to death during his performances. Is Simon losing his mind? Or is Tubby Thackeray waiting for him to open the door back to the world?

A new Campbell novel is an opportunity to delight in the craftsmanship of an extraordinary writer. When Simon Lester is commissioned to write a book about the forgotten music hall clown and his riotous silent comedies, his research plunges him into a nightmarish realm where genius, buffoonery and madness converge.

In a search that leads him from a twilight circus in a London park to a hardcore movie studio in Los Angeles, Simon Lester uncovers a terrifying secret about Tubby Thackeray and must finally confront the unspeakable thing he represents. Praise for The Grin of the Dark:. Visit Seller's Storefront.

The Grin in the Dark | Capstone Library

Paypal, checks, money orders. Personal checks held for a minimum of 7 days to clear before the book is shipped. Simon is determined to find out the truth behind the jolly fat man's disappearance from film--and from the world. Tubby's work carries the unmistakable stamp of the macabre.

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People literally laughed themselves to death during his performances. Soon, wherever Simon goes, laughter--and a clown's wide, threatening grin--follow. Is Simon losing his mind? Or is Tubby Thackeray waiting for him to open the door back to the world?

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A new Campbell novel is an opportunity to delight in the craftsmanship of an extraordinary writer. The Grin of the Dark has a great basic plot line, but the way it is told just couldn't keep my attention. The basic plot is that a film student is researching a forgotten silent film star, a comedian named Tubby Tackeray. Supposedly nearly all copies of his films were destroyed for being "objectionable". In fact, they were banned in the UK all together.

There are also stories of people in the audience going mad or laughing themselves to death. There is a sense that there is just something really wrong with the films and that Tubby Tackeray may have been using film to transmit certain occult currents shades of The King in Yellow. So as the student researches Tubby he finds himself becoming obsessed with the films and strangeness ensues. It would have been a FAR better short story or perhaps a novella.

However, at pages the whole thing collapses under its own weight. You can only suggest something is creepy so many times before the reader simply stops caring. The book meanders around and has far too much filler.

The Grin Of The Dark

I don't care what the protagonist's had for breakfast. With a plot like this I want atmosphere and style. What I got was endless pages of the protagonist's annoying internal dialog and paranoia. It sounds workable, but it just ended up tedious and boring. The last pages were a chore; I just wanted to get it over.

The Grin of the Dark

It's really too bad. I generally like Ramsey Campbell's short stories, but when stretched out like this, it just falls apart and loses sight of its original purpose. I know others who love this book and claim it's one of Campbell's best.