Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book review: The Only Child by Andrew Pyper

Question:  What scares you more the evil you discover in those you label as other or your dark side?

Published by Simon & Schuster Canada
Published in 2017

Author:  After listening to Andrew Payne contribute to a panel discussion, I quickly added his name to my list of must-read authors.

Horror:  One of the brutalist scenes is in the opening chapters--the killing of protagonist Dr. Lily Dominick's mother.

Monster:  To create his monster, Payne borrows from three pioneers of the horror genre--Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Bram Stoker (Dracula), Robert Stevenson (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).
'A two-hundred-year-old man who believes he personally inspired Frankenstein, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula.' (p. 59)
' "Three novels, each dramatizing an antagonist bearing a unique mental deformity. The Creature:  a being made of dead parts, a soul tortured by solitude. Hyde:  the psychotic with dissociative identity disorder, one half the responsible physician, the other an escaped patient beyond control. And Dracula, a projection of insatiable lust darkened by sexual anxiety.' (p. 159-160)
Plot:  Following Steven King's formula, Payne introduces us to his protagonist Dr. Lily Dominick and her seemingly ordinary life. Charmed, we follow her down the rabbit hole to the stuff of horror.

Favourite quote:  'Writers are a strange breed. Magpies, scavengers. So fearful of the world they would prefer to describe it than live in it, yet brave to the point of idiocy when in pursuit of inspiration. The real ones will slip their heads into the noose and pull the lever themselves if they think a hanging would make a good tale.' (p. 155)


If you enjoy reading The Only Child by Andrew Pyper, I know you'll enjoy reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova--I did.

Next post:  

Book Review
Sunday, November 5 at approximately 5 PM PT