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  • By Stephen Mark Rainey
    May 5, 2019
    While Mr. Blamire might be best known for his visual humor and unique wit, his western tales, while often infused with whimsy, play mostly straight. His use of vivid imagery and eerie atmosphere may be the most striking aspects of his tales. The sheer horrific drama in the cover image—which does not illustrate any particular story in the volume but essentially tells its own—characterizes the tone found in most of the tales within: an ever-deepening sense of the dread combined with taut, exciting action. As with virtually all collections, the stories in this one weighed in at different points on the success scale. The best of them I would go so far as to call minor masterpieces, while the least of them I would term flawed but noble attempts. At the upper end of the scale, "Heliograph Station #24," "The Valley of Capper Crabb," "The Man From the Fires," "The Room With Nine Corners," and "Bar None" all present encounters with dark, deadly... More > unknown forces, told in a consistently assured and often understated narrative voice. For the most part, Blamire eschews the trappings of more conventional western stories—gunfighters/gunfights, white hats vs. black hats, savage natives, and such—though a few of the stories include their share of these archetypes, to satisfying effect. Most of the characters the reader meets are townspeople, prospectors, ranchers, peddlers, occasional swindlers, and a handful of military officers. No character, setting, or menace here would even dream of boring you. Few of these tales offer any definitive explanation for the inexplicable creatures and/or events that appear in each. One simply accepts that the Callamo Mountains and surrounding environs are a haven for all manner of things dark, direful, and deadly. This aspect of the tales works to their advantage simply because one can never begin to guess what to expect from story to story. One tale whose theme and imagery would have hit on all cylinders is the final tale in the book, "Two Lone Riders," had it been told through the characters' eyes, rather than by way of a third-person omniscient narrator, and included dialogue. However, yet again, the imagery and climax of this tale still conjure a little chill, so I consider the tale a far cry from failure. However effective individual tales might be in More Tales of the Callamo Mountains, the collection intrigued and entertained me from start to finish.< Less
  • By Robert Deveau
    Feb 19, 2018
    Just finished reading "More Tales of the Callamo Mountains," by Larry Blamire, which I liked just as much as the first volume. Particularly "Mouth of the Shy Lee," "The Quiet Farm," (so sad, and a great example of subtlety and ambiguity while still being entirely clear. I was reminded of the long sequence in the novel "Frankenstein" when the monster is providing firewood for the blind man's family), "The Valley of Capper Crabb," (which has the inexorable logic of a Grimm fairy tale) and "The Trappers," which manages to be both incredibly creepy and provides an - almost - logical realistic explanation for the supernatural happenings of Blackwood's "The Wendigo," my all-time favorite example of this kind of story. "Bright Hawk Takes A Walk" was told in an entirely different voice, as if an ethnographer telling an old Indian story; and "Glooney Fixit" resembles an ancient fable, like "The Pied... More > Piper," but told by an inmate of Dr. Caligari's Cabinet. I have to mention, from a story whose title I won't say, my favorite last line in the whole book: "Unless you want to stay another day." If you're a fan of Arthur Machen, William Hope Hodgeson, H.P. Lovecraft or Algernon Blackwood, you're sure to enjoy "More Tales of the Callamo Mountains."< Less
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Product Details

Publisher
Bookaroonie Press
Published
December 11, 2017
Language
English
Pages
206
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.8 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
23447592
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