Bloody Good Horror Books 5*****Star review of The Legacy of Old Gran Parks!

I’m delighted to share this exceptionally warm and thoughtful review of The Legacy of Old Gran Parks from seasoned industry reviewer, Renier Palland.

 

“The Legacy of Old Gran Parks” by seasoned author Isobel Blackthorn is a droll, deeply satisfying and very understated horror novel published by HellBound Books. I’ve read some of Blackthorn’s work in the past and I haven’t been kind to her in a couple of reviews. Thank Buddha for her latest novel! “The Legacy of Old Gran Parks” is unique, extremely idiosyncratic and bathed in perfect prose. Blackthorn doesn’t just focus on “writing” a novel – she writes with such eloquence that one finds it difficult to critique her tempo and narrative techniques.

Blackthorn combines vengeance and wit to create a fictional world powered by strong plot machinations and a keen understanding of her characters. She injects her narrative with subtle symbolism and quasi-feminism. This amalgam forms an entirely new perspective on the revenge genre and its counterparts. Blackthorn deconstructs the novel like a set of Legos, then rebuilds both the plot and narrative to create a multi-faceted climax and denouement. This novel is much more than meets the eye. During my initial read-and-review process, I missed some of the finer details. Only after a secondary speed reading did I pick up on Blackthorn’s tongue-in-cheek satire.

The novel is billed as a dark comedy, but I disagree with this label. Blackthorn’s novel is a layered tour-de-force. The themes, although sardonic in their entirety, are actually much more insidious than Blackthorn imagined when she wrote the novel. There’s an element of darkness that broods underneath the hood, leaving you breathless once you actually delve deeper into the narrative.

Blackthorn’s characterisation is spot-on. The characters are perplexing, annoying (intentional) and they suffer from a derisive self-imaging machination. It’s as if the characters know Blackthorn, and they understand that she’s toying with them. This character/author intrusion is an intentional narrative device. Blackthorn poses the characters on an imaginary bookshelf and asks the reader, “So fucking what?” It’s a sign of a great author – someone who understands and knows what they’re doing with their characters and narrative.

Technically, Blackthorn didn’t make a single mistake. There was no verbiage, misused adverb or adjective techniques, or myocardial infarction of the plot. I didn’t have to restart the heart like I do with most novels. Blackthorn’s writing style flows like a river in a barren land. Unobstructed. Understated. Unequalled. As a fellow HellBound author (this does not affect the review), I notice just how great their editing techniques are. Unlike other imprints, where mistakes are made during proofing, HellBound delivers perfect editing. I’m not writing this to praise my own publisher – I’m merely stating my observations.

I once gave Blackthorn a 1 out of 5 rating for another book of hers. After a thorough editing process, I reviewed my critique and changed the rating. I was afraid that Blackthorn had to endure another less-than-average rating, but I am pleased to say that “The Legacy of Old Gran Parks” is her magnum opus.

It is definitely the best novel she’s ever written. And one of the best novels of 2018.

RATING: 5 out of 5

Bloody Good Books Reviews

Wow!!!!

Read more about Gran Parks here

Grab a copy here

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The Cabin Sessions book launch wrap up!

The launch of The Cabin Sessions proved to be a night beyond my wildest expectations!  The Alex Legg Memorial Foundation gave over the last Leggacy Sessions of the year, and I played host to a fine collection of musicians taking on the parts of various characters in my book.

Barbara Jeffrey and Jose Garcia as Rebekah and David Fisher.
Phil Lester and Neesy Smith as Joshua Thorne and Hannah Fisher
Dave Wolfe as Ed Smedley
Max Less and Annie Dixon as Philip Stone and Cynthia Morgan
Fred Hess (left) as Nathan Sandhurst and Brian Baker (right) as Juan Diaz, along with Stewart Kohinga and Lloyd Spiegel
Andy Cowan as Adam Banks

With thanks to Suzanne Diprose for her role as Delilah Makepeace, and for handing round the Christmas cake! And to Dave Diprose for his role as Alf Plum.

The night was made special by warm words of legendary Australian Bluesman ‘King of the Keys’ Andy Cowan in his official launch speech.

I came close to selling out of stock, which was a good thing as I was using a shopping trolley to cart the remaining books home with me by train!

A special thank you to all who came to my launch. Friends came from as far as Ballarat, St Andrews, and beyond the Black Spur to share the night with me. I’m still feeling the love. And my thanks to those who are messaging me with warm praise as they open their copy and discover for themselves why Andy Cowan phoned me the day before the launch and told me he absolutely loved The Cabin Sessions. 

My gratitude to the ALMF for their generous spirit, to all the musicians who performed, and to James Longmore at HellBound Books for making it all possible.

If you want to find out what the fuss is all about, visit any good online bookseller or grab a copy here.

Or use the contact page on this website for an author signed copy.

Click the link to read why the Alex Legg Memorial Foundation supported the launch and how instrumental, the late Alex Legg was in the creation of my book. https://isobelblackthorn.com/2017/10/14/the-cabin-sessions-and-alex-legg-a-novel-in-memory-of-a-remarkable-musician/

 

The Cabin Sessions available for preorder

I am delighted to announce that my debut dark fiction novel is available for preorder. Just click on the link.

http://hellboundbookspublishing.com/cabinsessions.html

This book is special to me. I wrote it at the same time as A Perfect Square. I see the novels as twins. Both contain dark themes. Both aim to disturb.

With The Cabin Sessions I set out to explore themes of domestic violence and child abuse, by exploring what might happen to people who live in absolute denial, or immobilising fear. At first I didn’t know if I could produce a character twisted enough for my purposes. Then along came Eva Stone. I wrote a piece about her for Bloody Good Horror Books.  http://bloodygoodhorrorbooks.com/?p=112

Writing horror is weird. I enjoy it because I get to unleash my depths. As for all the horror readers out there… #TheCabinSessions   Are you ready to be entertained???