The Respectable Face of Tyranny: a quotable quote and a mini-review

The Respectable Face of Tyranny cover image

So, to return to a semblance of normality after the euphoria of being nominated for some awards, here are a couple of nice things people have said about Gary Fry’s Spectral Visions novella. First a quote:

“An excellent novella from Gary Fry. The Respectable Face of Tyranny is set on the North Yorkshire coast, and the author shows us a place at once familiar and strange, beautiful and threatening . . . His characters are caught up in vast, uncontrollable events, responding as best they can in a world where the unexplained hovers just beyond the visible and the mundane.”
Alison Littlewood, author of A Cold Season

And now, a mini-review, posted by Paul Feeney on his Facebook page:

“The first of Spectral Press’s original novellas, and leading the charge is Gary Fry’s  The Respectable Face Of Tyranny. This is a beautifully written piece of work, and although only 40 pages long, manages to cram enough ideas and detail in it for a full length novel. The book itself is beautifully put together, and the cover photo is amazing and really sets the tone for the story inside.

Although ostensibly about a father, Josh, who has lost his financial security in the recent crisis, and is forced to relocate to a caravan near Whitby with his teenage daughter, it is also about the general fears we experience in an uncertain world, especially since the economic crash, and also about concerns specific to Josh as a father. He mulls over the recent past, while also contemplating world changing events from WW2 to the big bang. He is also prone to seeing odd things as he walks the eerie beaches, but tries to put these visions down to stress. Like a lot of the stories Spectral Press has put out so far, there is an uncertainty as to the reality of the supernatural overtones. This lends an air of discordance in the story, which works well within its confines. The possibility that Josh has inherited his mother’s mental illness is alluded to, but there are also other scenes which appear to confirm the existence of what Josh is experiencing. Inevitably it is up to the reader to make their own judgement on these things, and like most good horror/supernatural stories, it is not really about that anyway. It’s about becoming displaced from a once secure position, it’s about change, it’s about realising that some things are completely out of our control and it’s about sometimes facing up to the mostly insignificant part we play in the world. There is a sense that the universe we inhabit is illusory, and all attempts at control are futile. A very well written story, and a great way to begin Spectral Visions.”

More reviews soon!