Scan 17What’s it all about?

Joe Lennox is a young man in his mid-twenties, American but living in Vienna having made enough money when one of his stories was turned into a successful play that he can pursue a living as a writer and put behind him the impact of the death of his brother Ross when he was a teenager.

He meets Paul and India Tate, an American couple who fascinate him, take him under their wing and their lives become so entwined that when Joe and India start an affair it has horrible consequences for them all.

Why did I want to read it?

Voice of our Shadow is one of the Fantasy Masterworks series so is clearly regarded as a classic, and I enjoyed my previous foray into the word of Jonathan Carroll when I read Land of Laughs last year.

What did I think of it?

Wow, this is a weird one. I really couldn’t put it down, reading it in one day during two train journeys (London to Manchester and back again). I love Carroll’s writing style and was really absorbed in Joe’s troubles and in his love affair with India. Then the thing happens (Paul dies of a heart attack, possibly caused by finding out about the affair) and it turns into sort of a ghost story, then it moves into something even darker and ends up with one of those “really? I mean, really?” endings that has you revisiting everything you’ve read to that point. I can see why this would turn people against the novel because it is a bit of a jolt, and up until the aftermath of Paul’s death I wasn’t even sure this was fantasy at all but it gets very very strange very quickly indeed. And although it clearly has elements of horror I didn’t really find it scary.

I’m not entirely sure about the ending, it is so bizarre and abrupt and I’m honestly not entirely sure what the implications of the twist actually are, but it doesn’t diminish in any way the enjoyment I had in reading it, and I certainly want to read more of Carroll’s work.

An odd start to my reading for Carl’s Once Upon a Time Challenge.