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More Than This by Guy Adams
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More Than This (2005)

by Guy Adams

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I’ve never felt the need to be disgusted by a book, play, movie, or piece of art. Disturbed, creeped out, made to reject all I previously held to be truth, even find myself understanding the reasoning behind someone wilfully killing another human being; sure! But grossed-out? No! That is the basic difference between fantasy and horror in fiction. Think of the average "I Know What You Did With Jason Last Friday the 13th, Chuckie!" and just about all of Alfred Hitchcock’s work but especially "Psycho" or "Rope". You see what’s coming in the story but, while you have no time to prevent the inevitable, you desperately hope that you’re completely wrong – and you find you are: it’s far worse than you thought it was going to be as it turns out.
In the novella "More Than This", author Guy Adams gives the reader ample evidence that he not only has a firm grasp on this, his is an adeptness of masterful skill. The narration shuffles back and forth between First Person, to Third Person Omniscient, then Third Person Omnipresent… and the reader is only left wondering as to what is happening by way of a welcome opportunity to use one’s cognitive powers with this new scene. While this sort of anarchic style might either make one work too hard, or just plain make you want to look up the author’s SKYPE number so as to give him a piece of your mind, this writer leaves you with the desire to look him up so’s to pop ’round to his flat with a rather nice bottle of Pinot Noir that you hope to help him drink.
The story is set in a small, formerly popular, British sea-side resort in the mid-60s using the sorts of details that tells you everything you need to know without giving enough information to pin-point the town and exact year. With a lesser word-smith, the story would be laden-down with so much precision that specific world events would be endlessly paraded in front of us in order to make abundantly clear just how many hours the hack spent in the clipping morgue of a relevant newspaper office. Mr. Adams takes a far smarter route by making the experience about the characters’ immidiate environs rich in sensual details which are far more effective upon the imagination. I suspect him of being someone who can quote entire scenes of "Quadrophenia" and "I’m All Right Jack" though, as there huge passages of the book that I swear are meant to occur just around the corner from ones in the other works.
The tale tells us of this little town’s struggle with an un-known force of evil that takes over the citizens to its own secret, despicable ends. Before it is vanquished – as it must be – we are shown images from disturbing depths, then to the adrenalized heights of terror, made all the more rich from the characterizations’ breadth and humour of pin-point accuracy. This variety keeps things breathing in just the right rhythm.
Half of the pleasure with this book is the sheer joy of discovery as events unfold through the sudden shifts of both location and time, so to say more about its details would spoil the fun. You owe it to yourself to get your hands on a copy of this, just so you can say ‘I got into Guy Adams from the start, and I always knew he was going to be huge!’ And he will be.
Get him to sign your copy. If you’re really lucky, he might write something rude in your copy. ( )
  iamiam | Mar 24, 2007 |
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