Monday, July 27, 2009

The Hollow Earth

One of my favorite historical periods/locations in literature has always been late Victorian England. It is the period when Sherlock Holmes operated out of his office on Baker Street, when a mysterious Transylvanian count arrived to take up a brief residence, Martian tripods landed, a madman who could not be seen was on the loose, a bloody ripper stalked the ladies of the evening, and many other fantastic events. I’ve read so much from this period, it seems like home to me. So it is natural that I was drawn to Steven Savile’s chapbook from Bloodletting Books set in this era, The Hollow Earth.

Although it is very brief (61 pages, with very attractive full-page illustrations by Daniele Serra), The Hollow Earth develops a number of ideas that appeal to me. The chief creation is The Greyfriar’s Club, a collection of adventurers who respond to supernatural menace. They spring into action when a plot emerges to open a gateway to hell, and to allow the denizens of the underworld to be unleashed on London, with the first clue a ghastly crucifixion at St. Paul’s cathedral. The writing is true to the tone of writers of the period (with a more modern approach to gore), and if that isn’t your cup of tea, it may be a turn-off. For me, the story ended far too soon, and I would have preferred it to have been expanded to novel length. I hope Mr. Savile plans to reveal more adventures of the Greyfriar’s Club in the future.


Jim Mcleod said...

Joe you might like this

KentAllard said...

Sounds interesting. I'll be on the lookout for it.

John Hornor said...

That's a great book, LIST OF SEVEN. One of my favorites.