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Book Title: Sardonicus and Other Stories|
The author of the book: Ray Russell
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Edition: Ballantine Books, NY
Date of issue: 1961
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 635 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.3
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Unfortunately, I don't have this book yet. Copies seem to start in the $25 range, which is a lot to pay for an old mass market paperback!
I found the title story in a hardcover anthology called "13 Short Horror Novels." I wouldn't call Sardonicus a "novel," however. Instead, it is a short story of approximately 30 pages.
At any rate, Sardonicus is a wonderful tale. Although penned in the early 1960's, it has the feel of Poe or an earlier gothic-style writer. The story employs tropes you've probably encountered before (like a skull-shaped castle, and a journey to an exotic locale), but there are also uniquely disturbing elements, such as the incurable rictus of the central character. Rich veins of sex, death, greed, and betrayal run through the story, all of which made this a breeze to read.
The plot is compelling; the writing is elegant. The only reason I'm limiting the review to 4 stars is that I don't know the quality or character of the other stories in this book.
For others who may be seeking out Sardonicus, the classic title story: I just discovered that it is also available in a mass market paperback from 1971 called "Sagittarius," published by Playboy Press. Ray Russell was a fiction editor for the magazine.
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Read information about the authorsee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Russell and http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ent...
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