Friday, September 26, 2014

Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge


I not sure why Norman Partridge isn’t a household name. Not that being a household name is a good thing, because being in the public eye is often unenviable. Still, Partridge is one hell of a good writer and I believe he deserves far more acclaim even though his fiction has already won many awards. He works primarily in the horror and suspense genre producing wild and creepy short stories and novellas. Dark Harvest is a novella published in 2006 by Tor although it was originally published by Cemetery Dance Publications. This Tor edition reached a wide audience. The awesome cover art is by Jon Foster. Dark Harvest is a scary Halloween tale, wholly original, creepy as hell, and a great American piece of horror fiction. Anything else I can say about Norman Partridge or his work would be superfluous. Here’s the low-down: The October Boy is essentially this pumpkin-headed kid who comes to life and kills people. Pete McCormick decides to take it upon himself and uncover the October Boy’s secret – if he can survive long enough. Just exactly who or what is the October Boy? They also call him Ol’ Hacksaw Face or Sawtooth Jack. He emerges from the cornfield every Halloween with a butcher knife in his hand intent on killing and killing. But why? Partridge layers his tale with themes about deceit, loyalty and family secrets all of which adds depth to this breathless story. The pacing is relentless. Dark Harvest is one of those books that held my attention from page one. Of course, everything that I’ve read by Partridge falls into that category. It’s interesting to see a novella get such mainstream attention. Dark Harvest was raking in some awards before this re-publication by Tor. Just goes to show that the novella isn’t dead and a great writer doesn’t need 900 pages to tell a quality tale. Dark Harvest is a truly scary book. Make sure your doors are locked when you read it.

2 comments:

  1. Totally agree with you. I got this when it first came out. A perfect Halloween season book. I have a couple of his collections in hardback, including the wonderful Mr. Fox and Other Feral Tales, wherein he shares his advice to anyone interested in writing. Also recommended are his two Jack Baddalach novels. Good stuff.

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  2. Thanks Kurt, the Mr Fox book is on my list of "Need to Read" - Have a great day!

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