Synopses & Reviews
The Horned Man
opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world.
As Lawrence Miller, an English expatriate and a professor of gender studies, tells the story of what appears to be an elaborate conspiracy to frame him for a series of brutal killings, we descend into a world of subtly deceptive appearances where persecutor and victim continually shift roles, where paranoia assumes an air of calm rationality, and where enlightenment itself casts a darkness in which the most nightmarish acts occur.
As the novel races to its shocking conclusion, we follow Miller as he traverses the streets of Manhattan and the decaying suburbs beyond, in terrified pursuit of his pursuers. Written with sinuous grace and intellectual acuity, The Horned Man is an extraordinary, unforgettable excursion into the lethal battleground of desire and repression.
"[S]tartling, brilliantly mysterious....Introspective readers with a taste for the bizarre will appreciate Lasdun's eerily elusive conclusion, but those seeking definitive closure will be left scratching their heads." Publishers Weekly
"Paula Fox is the undisputed master of the short, spare, eerie tale of contemporary white urban disquietude, in which a seemingly nice individual's life starts to go off the rails as a result of some tiny yet resonant bit of trouble. Her Desperate Characters
defines the genre, if genre it is, but James Lasdun is a worthy practitioner of the art. His new novel of low-key disintegration, The Horned Man
, comes with Fox's recommendation printed on the back....This, like David Searcy's masterly and underappreciated Ordinary Horror, is Poe for the 21st century, a brainy chiller that finds the most terrifying monsters are those within." Laura Miller, Salon.com
(read the entire Salon review
"Unputdownable....I could no sooner have stopped reading than I could have stopped breathing...a masterpiece of chilling, mesmerizing control." Washington Post
"Almost every sentence is a delight in its penetration, imagination, aptness, and freedom from cliche." New York Review of Books
"A tale of Borgesian complexity...reminiscent of a set of nested Russian dolls." The Independent
"[A] marvelous novel, both compellingly readable I literally could not put it down and deeply philosophical." The Scotsman
"This is an exquisite and frightening book....The Horned Man is a page turner." Evening Standard (London)
"A remarkable, unsettling novel." Toronto Globe and Mail
"This enormously inventive, superbly written novel puts more seasoned authors in the shade." Sunday Times (London)
"Unputdownable'.... A masterpiece of chilling, mesmerizing control."
About the Author
James Lasdun has published three volumes of poetry and two story collections. His story "The Siege" was adapted by Bernardo Bertolucci for his film Besieged. He lives near Woodstock, New York.