Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Golem

Newly wealthy couple, Seth Kohn and Judy Parker buy the house of their dreams.  It is a refurbished classic of 1880 in the town of Lowensport in Maryland. The peace both recovering addicts seek is soon intruded upon by a corrupt police department, crack dealers and mysticism.
“Punch my ticket, you white piece of shit cop fuck,” Kapp provoked.  “Don’t care how or how slow, ya know why?  I want out.  Don’t wannna be in this world no more, not with that thing in it.”
Edward Lee’s The Golem contains many standard staples of the horror genre.  Violent rednecks, cults, corrupt police, an old eerie house, and an unstoppable creature.  The novel avoids cliché though based on two factors.  The use of a Golem brings an originality to the work.  It is not a creature that we have seen countless times.  This adds a fresh dimension to the novel.  The characters of Seth and Judy are also particularly strong.  Judy in particular is a well developed character that the reader can truly understand.  Judy’s background is utilized in very clever ways throughout the book adding depth to the events.  The golem in the novel is a secondary evil to that of man.  Edward Lee’s The Golem flows at a brisk pace as Seth and Judy begin to uncover the layered mysteries that surround them.  The flow is broken however by flashbacks to 1880 and the warring clans that created the golem.  These breaks are necessary to add greater depth to the story, but not to the extent that they are included.  The prologue also adds little and introduces three characters that are not mentioned at any other point.  A repeated plot device regarding Judy’s background readers will also find incredibly cute or annoying. 
In the end;
Edward Lee’s The Golem is solid quickly paced horror novel.    The Golem is a great creature to use and the story following Judy and Seth is great.  The chain of events is inventive with the classic horror staples utilized throughout.  The climax is strong and fitting, while leaving room for a sequel.  The novel however suffers from the overuse of flashbacks back to the 1880’s.  Edward Lee creates terrifically flawed human beings for his novels and Judy is one of his strongest characters.  The Golem is a strong but flawed offering to the horror genre.       

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