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The Long Lost (1993)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812550862, Mass Market Paperback)The Long Lost begins with a sequence so haunting and bizarre that it almost seems a chapter out of legend. A witty, sexy married couple who live in urban England drive to the coast of Wales on a weekend holiday. On a lark, they clamber down a steep cliff to a seaside town that turns out to be utterly deserted. There's an island just off shore and the tide is out, so they walk out across the exposed sand. The empty streets and eerie absence of human voices, followed by the overgrown beauty of the island, seem to transport them into another world, another time. They stumble on an ancient stone cottage, where an old woman with long white hair lies motionless on a pallet. At first they take her for dead, but she slowly awakens. She turns out to be a long-lost relative. She offers no explanation for why she lives alone in a nearly empty, crumbling cottage on an uninhabited island next to a deserted village. The tide comes in. The three of them end up spending the night in the dark cottage. The couple take the old woman back to England with them.
Then their lives, and the lives of everyone who knows them, begin slowly and inexorably to fall apart.
As Joel Lane writes in the horror review magazine Necrofile, "The Long Lost ... is written in a clear, vivid style which encompasses precise visual descriptions, ambiguous metaphors, and sudden changes of mood. The prose is so attractive that the fundamental strangeness of what is going on takes a long time to sink in; and the ending doesn't so much explain the story as send you away to think about it. The reader is, at various times, entranced, mystified, disturbed, appalled, provoked, and amused. Only twice before--in The Influence and Midnight Sun--has Campbell written at such a pitch of creative intensity."
The Long Lost is a dark novel about sin, guilt, scapegoats, and the fragility of the self. It is leavened by black humor, and the distinct, if elusive, possibility of redemption. --Fiona Webster
(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 04 Jan 2013 23:38:21 -0500)
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