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Southern Gods

by

Southern Gods Cover

ISBN13: 9781597802857
ISBN10: 1597802859
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Publisher Comments:

Nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin' John Hastur. The mysterious blues man's dark, driving music - broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station - is said to make living men insane and dead men rise. Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur's trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil. But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he'll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell... In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.

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pdxNat, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by pdxNat)
There are two main characters here. First we’ve got Bull Ingram, a WWII vet dispatched to find the secretive, strange musician broadcasting his devil music from some unknown pirate radio station in the murky American south; second is Sarah, fresh from leaving her deadbeat husband she returns home with her daughter and rediscovers her family’s past. Yeah-yeah, but what’s it about?

A lot of strange stuff happens in Southern Gods from terrific access to the southern culture of backwoods Arkansas in the 1950′s to a supernatural horror and violence that sets the bar high for modern Lovecraft-interpretation. While none of it is cutesy and some of it is gross I have to say I am impressed that the violence is not gratuitous. Jacobs uses those opportunities to explore deeper emotional pains for his characters. Ingram, who survived the war, is dragged through a madness more horrible than any mere boogie-man, and Sarah has the curtain pulled back on some hard truths and in some ways has the more interesting journey of learning how to stand on her own two feet. Both of these characters get through it, if you can call it that, not because they are tough but because they just haven’t given up, not yet. So then I guess if you’re the kind of person who wants to pigeon-hole a novel by asking, What’s it about, then the answer you deserve is probably: Hope.

It’s a dark novel about hope, about putting one foot in front of the other. But reading this novel is also like taking a vacation into the hot deep south. Jacobs writes about place as lovingly as he writes about people. He’s got chops, no doubt about it. He’s got a solid handle on the hardboiled genre and Southern Gods proves he knows how to bring a little Cthulhu into the modern world.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781597802857
Author:
Jacobs, John Hornor
Publisher:
Night Shade Books
Subject:
Horror - General
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
300
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 11 oz

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Related Subjects

Children's » Historical Fiction » General
Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General

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