Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Beast With Five Fingers

I have just enjoyed a very good Libravox recording of The Beast with Five Fingers,  a great chilling story by William F Harvey.  It brought back fond memories of watching Peter Lorre dealing with this occult pest!  I used to love those old horror movies late on a Saturday night.  One of the first horror movies I ever saw was The Wolfman vs Frankenstein - it's a wonder it did not put me off horror for life!  I was only about 13 at the time I think and when I first saw the face of Frankenstein I was so frightened that I had to turn the TV over to the soccer game and watch that instead!  I'm a bit more hardier these days and forever in search of a movie that will unsettle me but they are few and far between.  The Beast with Five Fingers was a nice gothic chiller, a little tongue in cheek maybe but only a little.  You have to wonder sometimes what's going on in a person's mind for them to think of writing something like this!

I thoroughly enjoyed Around the World in Eighty Days, so I decided to try another Verne and I can't put this one down either.  The Journey to the Centre of the Earth is just full of anxiety for our protagonist, he's taken this journey against his will to assist his uncle and to prove his manhood to the love of his life. He's almost died of thirst, been knocked unconscious a couple of times, got himself temporarily separated from his uncle and servant and is now sailing an unknown ocean avoiding a duelling plesiosaur and icthyosaur.  What a wonderfully exciting imagination Jules Verne had.

Melmoth the Wanderer is quite an unusual but vey atmospheric novel.  It is told by way of stories within stories with Melmoth the ancestor being painted as a disturbing entity who appears at time of death or disaster.  Melmoth the decendant is learning about his sinister relative by way of manuscripts and passed down stories.  One stormy night not long after his uncle dies a ship is wrecked, and Melmoth the younger with his late uncle's staff go down to the shore to assist with a rescue.  Melmoth the younger is shocked to see his ancestor there laughing and enjoying the spectacle and goes to confront him but slips on the rocks and falls into the ocean; he is rescued by a Spaniard who has survived the shipwreck and now the Spaniard has a strange story to relate once he realises who he has rescued...... this is a pretty good read to end the evening on, I just need some wind and rain to lash my window panes and the atmosphere will be perfect..........

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