Review: ‘The Booking’ by Ramsey Campbell

booking-cover-mockupThe Booking by Ramsey Campbell
Dark Regions Press (2016)

75 pages; $13.00 paperback; ebook $3.99
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

The Booking is a tight little yarn about Keifer, a man flailing to find his place in a new job. Simple enough idea. Of course, that new job is putting together a website for a bookstore that seems as reclusive and crotchety as its owner. A mess of disjointed words cloistered in shabby isolation from the surrounding world that seems to drag Keifer deeper into itself as he tries to bring its contents out to the public.

Though quite short, this is a very slow moving story. For most of it, very little occurs and much of that is quite mundane. Personally, I like how long Campbell took setting up the character and the situation and really cementing the atmosphere of Books Are Life. We spend so much time in the head of Keifer and in the abode of Mr. Brookes that they begin to feel as if they have wrapped themselves around us. The whole bears the feeling of Campbell slowly, meticulously setting up an array of dominoes, full or whorls and loops and inwardly spun spirals. The process is dizzying, but fraught with anticipation.Continue Reading

Ramsey Campbell on bookstores, scary limericks, and ‘The Booking’

Ramsey Campbell on bookstores, scary limericks, and ‘The Booking’

booking-cover-mockupFor the third book in the Black Labyrinth line of psychological suspense novellas, Chris Morey, owner/publisher of Dark Regions Press, turned to a master of the form: Ramsey Campbell. It was a move Morey has long envisioned making.

“Ramsey Campbell was a must for the Black Labyrinth imprint,” Morey said. “I knew I wanted an original piece from Ramsey for the imprint on the day that the imprint first materialized.”

Morey got his wish, and earlier this week the preorder period for Campbell’s The Booking began. The story sounds like classic Campbell:

Kiefer is desperate for a job when he comes upon an opening at a curious bookstore in England, BOOKS ARE LIFE. He approaches the owner for a job and gets it, learning quickly that the owner is stranger than the books that he sells in the shop. As he continues to help the bookstore’s transition to the internet, he discovers oddities in the shop and has increasingly strange visions and encounters.

We here at Cemetery Dance Online were honored to get a few words from Campbell on The Booking and its inspiration.

Continue Reading

Ramsey Campbell on bookstores, scary limericks, and 'The Booking'

Ramsey Campbell on bookstores, scary limericks, and ‘The Booking’

booking-cover-mockupFor the third book in the Black Labyrinth line of psychological suspense novellas, Chris Morey, owner/publisher of Dark Regions Press, turned to a master of the form: Ramsey Campbell. It was a move Morey has long envisioned making.

“Ramsey Campbell was a must for the Black Labyrinth imprint,” Morey said. “I knew I wanted an original piece from Ramsey for the imprint on the day that the imprint first materialized.”

Morey got his wish, and earlier this week the preorder period for Campbell’s The Booking began. The story sounds like classic Campbell:

Kiefer is desperate for a job when he comes upon an opening at a curious bookstore in England, BOOKS ARE LIFE. He approaches the owner for a job and gets it, learning quickly that the owner is stranger than the books that he sells in the shop. As he continues to help the bookstore’s transition to the internet, he discovers oddities in the shop and has increasingly strange visions and encounters.

We here at Cemetery Dance Online were honored to get a few words from Campbell on The Booking and its inspiration.

Continue Reading