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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Release Review: WYLDING HALL by ELIZABETH HAND



Release Date Feb. 17, 2015

Description:

From the award-winning author of Waking the Moon, a short novel of unexpected terror

When the young members of a British acid-folk band are compelled by their manager to record their unique music, they hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with dark secrets. There they create the album that will make their reputation, but at a terrifying cost: Julian Blake, the group’s lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen or heard from again.

Now, years later, the surviving musicians, along with their friends and lovers—including a psychic, a photographer, and the band’s manager—meet with a young documentary filmmaker to tell their own versions of what happened that summer. But whose story is true? And what really happened to Julian Blake?

Review: WYLDING HALL by Elizabeth Hand

WYLDING HALL is one of those perfect books that don't appear often enough. Its surface framework is interviews for an American documentary, of a 2-hit wonder London acid folk band which dissolved three decades ago. After the first successful album, Windhollow Faire took up a summer retreat in the currently empty, isolated, rural Wylding Hall mansion, an eclectic mixture of Norman, Tudor, and Victorian architecture, plus a barrow. Preparing a new album, and generally carousing, the band recorded on-site, but shortly thereafter one of the two lead singers-songwriters permanently disappeared.

The interviews with the former manager and members allow the author to thoroughly delineate character. Of course, each wants to polish his or her own image, even at the expense of the others. Meanwhile, the Supernatural backdrop subtly inserts itself within the recollections, and believe me, some very frightening moments reveal themselves.

WYLDING HALL deserves a widespread readership.



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