Christopher Fowler - Perry In Seraglio (City Jitters, Sphere, 1986). Ah, I love this one. Shades of Soho Black meets Ramsey Campbell's Potential with a bit of The Novel Of The White Powder thrown in, or so it seems to this reader. It's the height of Yuppie and Perry, 29, is at the forefront of things, haunting the trendiest nightspots and exclusive parties on a continual drugs-booze-casual sex binge with his equally vacuous entourage. Tonight's destination is Seraglio, "The Ultimate Party Club," on St. James Street. Our man has just dropped acid (on top of speed, dope, downers and copious amounts of booze), when word filters through that, Michael, his old pal from school, has hung himself. The sad news has the most profound effect on Perry ....
Yikes! 9th day of Shocktober and it's back to TTOL, back to the 80s, and following in the wake of capital geezer Perry. Isn't he starting to...er...get a little old for this lifestyle? I was hoping for a kind of Dorian Gray type of thing, which didn't happen. Perry's fall is certainly horrible and didn't take any direction I'd have expected, which is all to the good, but the last line...of it's time?
Jonathan Oliver - The Horror Writer: To cheer himself up after a lousy week, Simon travels to Charing Cross Road to creepy crawl the secondhand bookshops. Crushingly, several of his old haunts are bookshops no longer, but, bucking the trend, here's one he's unfamiliar with. The window display is hardly inspiring - S. King, C. Cookson, D. Brown - but inside is a different .... story. The proprietor - surly: unkempt; smokes roll-ups - directs him out back to a maze of bookshelves with a warning not to get lost. Simon's initial exhilaration gives way to nightmare as events take a turn for the surreal and he's stalked through the darkness by Dracula, Rupert the Bear, and Gregor Samsa out of Metamorphosis.
Yes! I think the real horror of this one is taking what bookworms love and turning it into that surreal nightmare. I was living this and in a cold sweat most of the time. The book staircase was particularly horrifying. Horrid ending too. A successful horror writer coining it? Huh!
Jonathan Oliver - The Horror Writer: [...] The proprietor - surly: unkempt; smokes roll-ups - directs him out back to a maze of bookshelves with a warning not to get lost. Simon's initial exhilaration gives way to nightmare as events take a turn for the surreal and he's stalked through the darkness by Dracula, Rupert the Bear, and Gregor Samsa out of Metamorphosis.
This sounds right up my street. Have added that to the insane Want List. Have been looking for tales about "evil bookshops" (instead of "murderous collectors") since reading Munby's "Herodes Redivivus" years ago. (I still think it's his best tale. I think Munby's really good at writing from a boy's perspective, cf. "The Devil's Autograph" and the mill scene in "The White Sack".) Would appreciate if anyone can put me onto something similar!