Cast a Cold Eye is back! Has it really been sixteen years since this project started? Apparently so. According to my records, it was June 7, , when Derryl Murphy dropped me that fateful email:. I hope you'll check it out, especially since I'm hoping to get to work on more Franny and Hondo stories. His own. Environment, economics, and augmented reality collide in this tale of reputation, revenge, and artificial intelligences so advanced they run directly on the fabric of spacetime.
This story tells a fictionalized version of some of my experiences as a Mormon missionary in Idaho after I was ejected from Canada. If you finished reading The Accidental Terrorist and wondered what what the rest of my mission was like Be aware that this story includes scenes of animal cruelty which may be disturbing to some readers.
For three years now, the Queens Lit Fest has highlighted the incredible talent and diversity of writers in this greatest of New York City's boroughs. I participated last year, together with writers from my reading series, Line Break , and I'm delighted to be part of it again this year.
Admission for both days is free but does require an RSVP. I will be reading promptly at pm on Sunday evening, but don't come just to hear me. Come for an afternoon, evening, or all day to hear a wide array of Queens poets, essayists, storytellers, and more, including friends of mine like Emily Alta Hockaday , Jackie Sherbow , and Audrey Dimola.
Oh, and I'll have copies of The Accidental Terrorist with me for sale. I hope to see you there! Why is the despondent young missionary below drinking himself to death? On dandruff shampoo, no less?? Sure, there were some weird things going on. But nothing happened. Nothing was explained. Nothing was even that weird. It just fell apart for me.
Man, I loved this book! What a perfect October read. I can't believe it took me this long to read it, considering it was published 30 years ago and my Dark Harvest hardback that I bought used a few years ago is still in great shape - they really made books to last. The story is about an author who rents a house in the Irish countryside to research and write a historical novel.
His grandmother lived in Dublin, but he has always lived in the US. Suffice it to say he finds himself in the middle of Man, I loved this book! Suffice it to say he finds himself in the middle of a very old tradition that he learns about as do we as the book unfolds. This book is just dripping with atmosphere. The prose is amazing, and I really felt immersed in the cold, bleak Irish landscape.
The supernatural elements were very creepy and well-realized. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, especially for fans of ghost stories, and as a perfect October read! He plays the story straight and gives each scene the prose and space it needs to bloom into a narrative reality all its own. From the first page, he pulled me in and he never lost me. This book deserves to be studied by devotees of the genre. The atmosphere of the setting permeates each word so much that I wanted to drink my own cup of tea with the characters.
The supernatural happenings are sparse and add just enough of the weird to suggest a great yet elusive truth—one that settled into my own bones as I finished the closing pages with a feeling of reverence and awe. Ryan also addresses the influence of the contemporary world circa the s, yes, but still effectively the modern world as we know it and its accessibility amidst the bizarre, macabre events surrounding the protagonist. Mar 28, Judith Roney rated it did not like it. I don't know what kind of ghost stories the others have been reading, but this drivel was dominated by silly language like "he felt her heavy breasts crush against his chest.
Nothing much happens, an Irish American writer Alan Ryan, the author, has an Irish surname, surprise-surprise goes to Ireland to write a novel about the famine and rents seemingly the only m I don't know what kind of ghost stories the others have been reading, but this drivel was dominated by silly language like "he felt her heavy breasts crush against his chest. Nothing much happens, an Irish American writer Alan Ryan, the author, has an Irish surname, surprise-surprise goes to Ireland to write a novel about the famine and rents seemingly the only modern house in a tiny Western town.
Almost immediately he sees what the reader understands to be the ghosts of famine victims along the side the road, in ditches, whatever. Though he repeatedly sees these apparitions, the MC easily switches gears to fantasize about making love to the "raven-haired beauty" he met in a bookstore!!!
4 thoughts on “Discovering Alan Peter Ryan”
So silly. Characters flat, no surprises, and when they finally consummate their what, love? The MC and his squeeze have only spent like, maybe three days together relationship, it's against a rock by a cliff, in the rain, after chasing after one of the ghosts. Seems the author was far more occupied with a mammary gland fetish. Pleeeeaaasse, really?
Jun 07, Lou Yuhasz added it. The setting of Doolin felt like a character and served the story above and beyond just a setting. Mar 12, Rodney rated it it was ok. Everyone seems to like this book more than me. So, no offense if you love this book. It just very much was not for me. Here we have a story of the Bad Things Happen in the Countryside genre, as narrated by the type of smug American who can drink a Guinness at a pub where someone is wheezing into uilleann pipes and think he's found the "real" Ireland. There are two women in the book, a matron and a plaything, naturally and both of them can cook a mean dinner for their man.follow
Inhuman Swill | Blog | William Shunn
Despite the author's b Everyone seems to like this book more than me. Despite the author's best intentions toward romance I kept thinking, girl, you've only met this dude twice IRL and you don't have to go fulfilling any ancient prophecies or anything with him--and, OMG, his fixation on her "full" breasts and "milk-white" skin made me think he was weaned too early. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's because my pet peeve is writers who think writers are interesting characters. Who think an interesting scene can consist of someone sitting at a typewriter or word processor in this case--which seems to be an artifact from some future civilization to the backwards locals of Doolin, Ireland.
We keep getting told that the lifestyle of Doolin hasn't changed in hundreds of years, but this book takes place around , so I guarantee you there's nerdy kids listening to punk rock somewhere in town.
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But no, we've only got wooly sweaters and scally caps and the old time ballads here. I remember reading an interview with Philip Chevron of The Pogues in which he said The Pogues had no chance of breaking into the American mainstream because Americans have such a strict definition of what they want Irish culture to be. Cast a Cold Eye adheres very much to a touristic American perspective of Irishness. The fact that he's in town to research the potato famine is painfully corny and obvious. He's gonna write a book about The One Thing Americans Know about Irish History, and can't figure out why the locals are giving him the side-eye.
The book is just so, so predictable to anyone who's ever seen The Wicker Man which should be anyone who's interested enough in this genre to read Cast a Cold Eye. The prose is frequently gorgeous, I will give it that, but the everything else is just awful. Nov 19, Andy rated it really liked it.
This is a cold, wintry ghost tale about an author who travels to Ireland to write a novel about an Irish family during the Potato Famine. He settles into a cottage on a desolate wind-swept coast to get a feel of a small Irish village. But he soon starts experiencing horrific things he cannot explain and has a suspicion the locals are in on it. Both have a strong atmosphere, slow story and strong sense of p This is a cold, wintry ghost tale about an author who travels to Ireland to write a novel about an Irish family during the Potato Famine.
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Both have a strong atmosphere, slow story and strong sense of place, and both are about strange small towns, desolate locales. Here the story is really secondary to the overall mood the book creates. This is fine with me, but it won't be to everyone's taste. Frankly, not a lot happens plot-wise, it's kept pretty simple and basic and this type of tale has been told many times before. This book is also good at keeping it's secrets. We get some hints about what is really going on, but never enough to predict what happens.
Unfortunately I have to admit, the end did let me down a bit. I was expecting a bit more. Still, this is a fun read, an impressive story of quiet, muted horror. Mar 11, Lee rated it really liked it. The writing and the atmosphere in this haunting tale are wonderful. On the coast of western Ireland, you feel the chill of the wind - the consant rains soak you to the bone - and nothing worse than the dark ominous clouds, with their feel of pending doom.
The only disappointment I have, is Alan Ryan only wrote four novels, all in the early '80's. Jul 19, Crystal rated it it was amazing. This book is absolutely amazing. I bought it at a yard sale and didn't end up reading it till years later. It started off a little slow but soon you won't want to put it down. Apr 14, Akira rated it it was ok. Apr 10, Robert Vanneste rated it really liked it.
Entertaining , with a good dark atmosphere. Though I felt like the love at first sight romance was forced. A beautiful Irish ghost story. This was a super quick read. Readers also enjoyed.
Cast a Cold Eye
About Alan Ryan. Dig what the narrator says about "the Todd woman": "I like a woman who will laugh when you don't have to point her right at the joke, you know. Enter one portal, get disintegrated, and come out the other, whether it's across the room or across the galaxy. The climax is one of King's most notorious; a fondly remembered shock of sheer madness. Scream Press limited edition , , art by JK Potter. Thought you got rid of me, didn't you? But I'm not that easy to get rid of, Hal We were made for each other, just a boy and his pet monkey, a couple of good old buddies I came to you, Hal, I worked my way along the country roads at night and the moonlight shone off my teeth at three in the morning and I left many people Dead at many Scenes.
I came to you, Hal, I'm your Christmas present, so wind me up, who's dead? Oh, well.
Posted by Will Errickson at PM 10 comments:. Bronx-born horror writer Alan Ryan has died of pancreatic cancer, according to reports from Shocklines , Nancy Holder, and Brian Keene. Last year I read and liked his third novel Dead White ; his other novels are Panther , The Kill , and Cast a Cold Eye , the last of which sits on my shelf so far unread. Recently I've a read a couple of Ryan's many short stories, published throughout the s in various anthologies like Shadows and Whispers.
As an editor he compiled Halloween Horrors , a fave of my teenage years The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories , chilling stories by famous female writers in Haunting Women , as well as the first in the long-running horror anthology series Night Visions , In the Blood It offers a set of conventions that allow a character to be challenged in a way that threatens perhaps everything he believes in - very basic things, including his grip on reality. I'm interested in seeing what characters will do when confronted by some ultimate evil - not something as trivial as losing a job or a girlfriend, the sorts of things that so much mainstream fiction is about - b ut really dark, unfathomable evil, evil that is cruel and random in the way it frightens and inflicts pain.
Posted by Will Errickson at AM 8 comments:. Labels: '80s , alan ryan , avon books , other stuff , penguin books , signet books , tor books. Who the hell is Fritzen Ravenswood , and why did this writer produce only two Zebra paperbacks? I don't think anyone knows. At least, I think it's a pen name; don't you?
I suppose it's entirely possible the author's parents foresaw their child's future as a pulp horror author, and wanted to provide the kid with an appropriately morbid moniker. The titles of the only two works attributed to Ravenswood, The Spawning and The Witching , both published in , feature the gerund form that was inescapable in cheap horror novels post The Shining.
Posted by Will Errickson at AM 13 comments:. Labels: '80s , creepy kids , novel , occult horror , pulp horror , unread , zebra books. Dig on that cover for a second: the expressionistic image of a body in torment and a mind in anguish trapped inside a rudimentary house, the title Prodigal in a bold silvery-red font.