Thursday, September 18, 2008

Barrow Sinister by Elsie Lee [1969]

Found the cover art via Ebay [note the camera icon].

I began this novel around June, stopped reading about 1/4 way through and actually almost forgot about it! Earlier today I briefly considered picking it up again (after I'm finished with the current novel)...then figured *why*? I know myself, and if it's forgettable...forget it.

The characters, including the main, are haphazardly introduced. Even well into the story the characters (with two exceptions) are not well formed. It's a social peripheral jumble.

The story's lead female character finds herself surrounded by men, at the expedition. This too is awkwardly written. She's either feeling adrift in a little sea of men or she's isolated.

This novel has an entirely different tone to that of "Season of Evil," also by Elsie Lee...which I also didn't finish (though did review it months ago; see below) because imo that novel isn't a Gothic. "Season of Evil" is well written, but is not a Gothic; at least halfway into it I was still waiting for "gothicness."

I hope Ms. Lee's other works are more rewarding. I have 2 or 3 other novels of hers.

Anyway, "Barrow Sinister" gets 1 star on a scale of 1 - 5.

Hopefully I'm not selling the novel short. But my overall advice would be to skip it.

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