Monday, May 1, 2017

John Langan's The Fisherman Wins the Bram Stoker Award

The FishermanIn my July 19, 2016, blog post, in which I wrote of my work on John Langan's novel The Fisherman, I said -- and I quote -- "...there is no reason for any hesitation whatsoever to purchase a copy of this new John Langan novel, which I am sure will be on award shortlists next year."

And here we are, in the "next year," and The Fisherman has won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel, which was presented at StokerCon 2017 by the Horror Writers Association.[1]

Matt E. Lewis, on Horror Talk, reviews The Fisherman; I'm including a small excerpt but do check out the full review:
This novel is, without a doubt, the most beautiful I've read all year. In the beginning it's obvious to see the influence of greats like Melville in Langan's writing — in fact, this entire book might be viewed as a twisted spiritual cousin of Moby Dick. But thankfully it isn't exactly like that. Langan borrows from an omnivorous assortment of fiction writers, at times incorporating aquatic abominations that could have sprung from Lovecraft's darkest nightmares, to a hodgepodge of references to the lore from throughout time and cultures....The pacing of the story is consistent, page-turning, on par with the bestsellers of Stephen King. The exposition is shared sparingly, like a heady scent on the wind that only just registers before it's swept away.

But the most important aspect of the book is the all too relatable grief of the characters. It is the anchor that firmly lodges in the heart of the reader, reminding us that true horror does not simply spring from gross-outs and jump-scares, but the darkness of the human soul, the meeting of our primal emotions and our accursed hyper-intelligence....

In addition to the July 19 blog post mentioned above, I had posted on February 23, 2017, that The Fisherman was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award. That blog post also included an excerpt from the New York Times Book Review by Terrence Rafferty. So if you're still not convinced that you need this book in your library, read the NYT review of The Fisherman -- and then hit up your fave bookseller and buy this book!


[1] The Horror Writers Association website has a complete list of all the Bram Stoker Award winners.

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