Good evening El Moochadores! Last March, Titan Books re-released the thrilling horror novel, Jago, written by Kim Newman. It’s a fantastic novel where a major supernatural event begins in a small English village and grows to apocalyptic proportions. Here’s the synopsis:
Paul, a young academic composing a thesis about the end of the world, and his girlfriend Hazel, a potter, have come to the tiny English village of Alder for the summer. Their idea of a rural retreat gradually sours as the laws of nature begin to break down around them. The village, swollen by an annual rock festival of cataclysmic proportions, prepares to reap a harvest of horror.
I loved this book. Honestly, this was one of the best horror novels I’ve read in a long time. Newman’s ability to craft a maddeningly suspenseful story ranks right up there with the likes of Stephen King and Clive Barker. Originally published in 1991 and set in that era, (I love how one of the opening paragraphs is Paul hammering out his thesis on a typewriter – which (for the kids) was like a loud computer with no monitor), Jago reminded me of being a young man and discovering horror stories for the first time.
In Jago, Newman, created a monster that can make other monsters. Worst than that; he can make your monsters real. Anthony William Jago was an amazing and effective villain while the stories protagonist were so fun and interesting that I felt invested in their outcome. Newman’s brand of horror and ability to create dynamic characters is exactly why I like books more that movies!
There isn’t much I didn’t like about the novel, but some of the book did seem a little over my head. For example, though I thought he was an excellent character, I didn’t really understand the purpose of Badmouth Ben. I also felt some of the other character resolutions (at the end) were either a little weak or just entirely absent, but otherwise this is a book you should go buy (or download) as soon as possible. I think one of the best things I can say about Jago is: I was actually kind of bummed out that it ended. Fortunately, this re-release also includes three short stories, by Newman, using characters from the original novel. While reading Jago, I became fond of the Gilpin brothers and was glad to read the short story, Ratting, at the end of the book.
You can get your own copy of Jago at the Titan Books website or it’s out in book stores now. Also, if you’re already a fan of the novel, or have some insights into characters like Badmouth Ben, please let me know in the comments section below! I really need to talk with other fans about this book!