Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gary A Braunbeck’s In Silent Graves

Robert Londrigan’s wife has just died while giving birth prematurely.  In the hospital morgue he stands over their bodies, trying to find the words to say goodbye, when he is attacked and savagely beaten by a deformed stranger.  When he awakens he learns the body of his child is missing.  And everything he thought he knew about the world is wrong. 

“Do you despair?
Perhaps you should.” 
Gary A Braunbeck’s In Silent Graves is a horror novel that transcends the genre into literary excellence.  Braunbeck has crafted a tale that is mediation on how and why we mourn, and what it means to lose a life and the ripples it creates throughout how you perceive your entire world.  Braunbeck also examines the concept of family and how we define this concept as a society and within our own lives. 

Braunbeck’s prose creates an eerily surreal atmosphere, where your senses cannot be trusted, despite how real the world around you seems.  It is unclear through much of the novel if the fantastical events that seem to surround Robert are real or reflections of his grief. 
There are a handful of brutal melee combat sequences late in the novel that seem out of place and just extend the narrative unnecessarily.  This was my only complaint. 

In the End;
In Silent Graves has a very strong and moving message behind it.   Braunbeck’s novel is a heartfelt and eerie masterpiece.  This is one of the most emotionally rich novels I have read in some time, especially within genre fiction.  I cannot recommend this novel strongly enough.   

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