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Reviews

REVIEWS



Swan River Press Edition

"What opens as exposition almost too dry, soon flowers into a beautiful mystery of hidden motive and intimating curse as Larkhill's unconnected, but oddly like-minded, new owners take over the property and pay their own price . . . The prose is excellently concise and the mood appropriately ominous."

-Mark Andreson, The Pan Review


"The prose, and the prose voice in particular are engagingly low-key . . . Showers fills his stories with notes that mimic reality but may or may not be based in reality . . . The characters' stories, their definitions, as it were, form the plot of the book, in a powerful cumulative effect that makes for a striking reading experience."

-Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column


"Old Albert is a strange and troubling book, and in many ways a brilliant one. Apparently innocuous, a sort of guide-book of real and some unreal places, it squats menacingly by the fireside . . . I thoroughly recommend it."

-Simon Cooke, Le Fanu Studies


"Old Albert is a beautiful amalgam of some of the most enduring and endearing elements of Gothic and Victorian horror literature. Set against the grim environs of Rathmines in Dublin, this novella of veiled death and whispered urban legendry, discomfits the reader with a deft and seemingly effortless aplomb. A subtle fabric of intertwining narratives, carefully-drawn historical backdrop, unsettled architecture, and half-glimpsed terrors, this brief but absorbing story has something of the antique shop curio about it."

-Rob Brown, Vaguely Literary


"The Bleeding Horse (with Old Albert) is one of the finest ghost story collections I've read in some time, so good that it made me break the six-month gap in horror reviews on this blog just so I could rave about it."

-Brendan Moody, The Stars at Noonday


"Beautifully written, with an authentic feel for the times throughout, Old Albert is a vital addition to anyoneís collection of supernatural tales and the macabre."

-John Kenny, You're Reading...


Ex Occidente Edition

"Readers of his first collection The Bleeding Horse will be familiar with [Showers's] technique of slowly building atmosphere by an apparent documentary method. His style is clear and pure, carrying weight and conviction by the absence of ostentatious flourishes . . . Showers works on his readers by creating an illusion of cool objectivity, so that when he delivers his final enigmatic denouement, it is genuinely troubling."

-Reggie Oliver, Wormwood 17


"This delightful book is not for those seeking gore and graphic horror, but for all the readers who love good, subtly unnerving dark fiction. We are sick and tired of grandguignolesque horror stories told in a nervous, disjointed writing style. Try Old Albert and youíll discover that, fortunately, well written, accomplished tales are still around."

-Mario Guslandi, Horror World


"The effect of Showers' incredibly well-crafted prose is to give the tales he tells a ring of truth that is undeniably and very enjoyably compelling . . . clearly an author of great talent, with an ability not just to describe reality, but create it out of whole cloth."

-Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column


"This is a fine example of 'no smoke without fire' school of ghost story writing, one where no single item is conclusive but the accumulation of circumstantial evidence is overwhelming . . . And while the work as a whole is admirably restrained, there are moments of violence . . . that remind you this ghost has claws."

-Peter Tennant, Black Static 26


" . . . what Brian Showers does with his fairly cosy, detached style is lull you into a false sense of security before delivering a series of rather disturbing surprises, or perhaps they ought to be termed shocking discoveries?"

-David Longhorn, Supernatural Tales 20


"Old Albert isn't just a subtly powerful work of supernatural fiction, it's also a work that demonstrates the profound ability Mr. Showers has to infuse a seemingly nondescript locale with a sense of history, with a sense of place in the flow of time. I have not come across any other writer working today who is writing quite like Brian J. Showers is. "

-Ben Stanley, Speculative Fiction Junkie


"For a village to be part of city is like a phenomenon I canít quite define in literature. Author and readership? . . . In any event we now have location, location, location . . . as we follow Larkhill House through the late 19th century to the early twentieth, involving a school, a 'sexy' theosophical society, a school again Ė and a discovery, hidden in this textís reported intertext, that resonates, for me, like indefinable foreboding Aickmanery . . . Meanwhile, I also sense an overweening force - that henry-fielding-esque intruder who may be the author or who may not be the author but masquerading as him."

-Des Lewis, Real-time Reviews


"Showers weaves his tales so well that itís difficult to tell whatís fact and whatís fiction. The dates and quotes add an unnerving gravity, while the fact that itís Ireland makes it practically true . . . The story itself and the way itís written is so wonderfully old school, as if the whole thing was from the time and just discovered in some archive."

-Sarah Elliot, Geek Girl on the Street




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