Wednesday, October 5, 2011
LITTLE BOY LOST
By T.M. Wright
Published by Uninvited Books
WHY WOULD A DEMON WANT A CHILD?
When his six-year-old son vanishes, Miles Gale is suspected of having committed an unthinkable crime. He alone knows that the truth is even more unthinkable: his son has been taken by a creature out of time, a creature out of nightmare. The boy’s mother has returned to claim him…and Miles will have to go through hell to get him back. (back cover blurb of Little Boy Lost)
This 1992 re-issue of Little Boy Lost focuses on the ultimate parental nightmare—that of a child lost. So clearly does Wright’s surreal prose explain the unreal, “I must be dreaming because this can’t really be happening” world in which those who have lost a child live, that even childless readers are able to fully empathize with Miles’ desperation, anguish, and helplessness when little Aaron disappears. And to make it all the more realistic, the child disappears at a local mall, where these sorts of things happen with a fair degree of regularity outside of the pages of a novel.
We get most of the details of the story from CJ, Aaron’s older half-brother, who has an eidetic memory. During police interrogations (because, of course, the police think that CJ’s father, Miles, is responsible) CJ recounts every single detail of the day, down to the hairstyle of a woman at the far end of the parking lot. Being a child, CJ doesn’t yet know how to filter through everything his mind has recorded, and so he just plays back every second, whether relevant or not. A small detail, perhaps, but a crucial one, and it perfectly fit the character, as do all T.M. Wright’s subtle touches. He is truly the Da Vinci of literary horror, where God is in the details.
With his typical, always fascinating hallucinatory edginess Wright takes us on a frantic search for Aaron—in this world and…other places. There is nothing predictable about the searching, nor the way the book ends, for that matter.
T.M. Wright is truly an author for analytical adults who appreciate the more literary side of the horror genre. Younger people may find him frustrating, because little is spelled out and endings are not necessarily all neatly tied up and obvious. So if you’re looking for a cheap thrill, gratuitous gore, or hardcore horror, Wright is probably not for you.
But if you want something haunting, something that you will think about during the day, something that will quietly creep into your dreams at night…well, now you know just where to look.
Another home run, Mr. Wright…all the way from 1992!
Five out of five stars.
Buy it here.
Reviewed by Carson Buckingham
Carson Buckingham’s first dark fantasy novel, HOME, will be released this Halloween and will be available on Amazon.