Saturday, October 9, 2010

chapbooks from Nightjar Press, part 3

RB Russell
The Beautiful Room

Mark Valentine
A Revelation of Cormorants

Nightjar Press, 2010

This is the third pair of chapbooks, of which I write this year. Before that publisher Nightjar Press didn’t fall flat, as it turned out, and on the third time it didn’t as well.

RB Russell's story is beautiful and tight as the room where there were heroes of the story. Young couple chooses a suitable apartment, so that he is comfortable with the work, and she feels comfortable to have a rest. Room is immediately liked both of them: bright, spacious, with excellent views. In addition, other options did suit neither husband nor wife. Having admired the room, the husband decides that he will not buy it: this is a place to relax in the summer, but if you become cold, life here is no longer available. Wife really likes the room, and she persuades her husband to buy it. Matrimonial dispute is broken with weird noise from behind the wall.

The beauty of the story is not in a surprise ending, but how Russell, confining the narrow space and a minimum of characters, creates a memorable story about freedom, love, and that even the walls can not stop one who have wings.

Valentine’s, (he brought an element of the supernatural to a minimum), story turned out less charming, but a memorable one. The narrator is a writer who arrives in the province, deciding to start and finish a book on birds in Britain, mentioned in folklore, in the quiet place. The author seems to be follow a guide "What should be in a good story": a remote hamlet, the fragments of the book of protagonist, admonishing local resident, the relationship between reality and the book, mortal danger. It's all written in good style, but following the conditional pattern lubricates impression. Anyone who has read at least some of the British horror, will already have an idea about the next step of the author.

I highly recommend both stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment