T.E.D. Klein: The Ceremonies



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It can be made to be The great thing about candles and lanterns is they create WAY better creepy shadows Jeremy stumbles around trying to convince himself that he is having a good time but really he is about as happy with nature as a werewolf is with a veggie platter Back in NYC Jeremy s almost girlfriend Carol is under the guidance of the harmless little old man Rosie who of course is manipulating her into going to the country to see Jeremy as the Poroth farm is exactly the place where the iabolical reawakening of an ancient evil is going to happen Holy St right Now Carol has another problem which makes her a perfect candidate for this nefarious manifestation of evil She is a virgin Being a virgin in a horror novel of this type is like wearing a red shirt on an away team on Star Trek Carol has a flowing white The Billionaire Daddy dress some BDSM and some pain in her near future On the farm things are getting wiggy In a letter for the Millenniums out there that is how we communicated in the pastthink of it as long hand texting to Carol Jeremy sums it up nicely I tell you Carol this summer started off like Currier Ives but it s ending up like Edward Gorey And heon t know the half of it Klein also creates an interesting Pistols for Two dynamic between the two couples once Carol arrives at the farm Jeremy has been having rather elaborate fantasies about Sarr Poroth s lush wife Deborah Sarr is also showing than a casual interest in the lithe and pretty Carol Jeremy is than a little jealous at Sarr s interest in Carol and Sarr is well aware that Jeremy has been making lustful eyes at his wife It is almost comical the amount of time the characters are moving around the board worried about who might sleep with whom when this incredibly horrible vile monstrous thing is about to crash the party The book unfortunately feels bloated I felt a bit boggedown in the swamps from time to time with sweat trickling Stronger down my back and tall weeds in allirections Klein Loss (Gus Dury, does bring everything together into one explosive climax andoes a great job tipping his cap to those gothic horror writers who have come before him He certainly understood the gothic elements Suddenly a flash of lightning lit the sky Freirs shouted and The Last Rite (Danilov Quintet, drew back A humped grey shape was pressed against his screen outlined in the light The eyes were wide unblinking cold as a snake s The mouth hung partly open There appeared to be something crouched inside itYabba Dabbao If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at can also find terrific reviews at Next time I m at a wedding reception I want to give the groom a copy of The Ceremonies I Alacrity (Illumine, d like to say something clever like I hope you end up happier than the couples in this book I try too things like that at weddings It s worth it because I am always out of the running for being a godparent later which is like money in my pocket at Easter and Christmas Did you know that if you speak now at a wedding ceremony the couple isn t reuired to take 24 hours or anything to reconsider In fact everyone kind of shuns you afterward And it isn t the good kind of shunning either Someone actually slashed my tires at the reception later which was probably a blessing in isguise as I was in no condition to rive home Though sleeping in the back of my car was no picnic either Too many people are in a hurry to get married Everyone should read The Ceremonies before they take the leap This is the best Lovecraftian novel I ve read The first third of the book is rather slow some parts feel like they could have been Love You To Death (Detective Ruby Preston, discarded but Klein establishes a good sense of place and slow building atmosphere Heoesn t try to scare us much to start with but later when he wants to he Arnhem does an excellent good job of it while maintaining subtlety than most modern horror Some scenes are uite scary the old woman in the elevator scene the rose with teethream seuence and many others which become numerous as the story goes along And this is coming from a person who loves horror but is pretty jaded and rarely unnerved by a bookThe story takes place in two primary locales the small New Jersey village of Gilead and New York the parts in the city are often less interesting and the novel at times has a sense of the urban vs the rural I thought the Fitness for Living dialogue wasecent and the story flows well it s not full of elouent Victorian language like Poe or Lovecraft and frankly a few phrases here and there feel a bit novice but it flows well in a comfortable way and it s fun to read I found myself wishing I could just go on reading it even when I really needed to go to bed a sign of a really good book I cared about the characters too I found myself feeling bad when lets just say bad stuff happens to some of themThe story gives us many points of view from the characters The journal of Jeremy gives us those moments where we want to say the monster is behind you but he Love Is Blind doesn t connect theots to know what s going on In fact everyone remains ignorant of what s really going on until the very end This is a very Lovecraftian tale with references to gibbous moons and hols and other things The story has a lot of folklore and superstitions as well as references to classic horror stories and novels most of which I found I read Reading the critiues of the novels is pretty interesting as well One of the few horror novels I could see myself re readingThe overall arch of the story is pretty simple Jeremy is a New York college professor who meets a librarian named Carol They have an immediate attraction to one another but Jeremy has The World in the Curl decided to spend the summer in the country He rents a small cottage on the land of the Poroth s in aeeply religious village which lives by the old ways Meanwhile in the city Carol is offered a researching job by an old man who calls himself Rosie It uickly becomes apparent that Rosie is hardly as harmless as he seems he s trying to get both Carol into an ancient ceremony that will summon up an evil which will Connexity destroy the earth Back in the country Jeremy tries to adjust to country living and a mounting sense of unease and terror I won t give away than that 25 stars The Ceremonies start with great promise only to end up in a wildly unsatysfying way Klein weaves a well enough tale of a rural community completely severed from the outside world where everyone knows everyone and allay the Lord s praises are sung To this community comes a young man named Jeremy Freis who s preparing his issertation and is getting ready for teaching a class on Gothic literature Klein is obviously an expert in the field and often uotes and references authors famous and those that are less well known The atmosphere is vividly etailed and one can almost hear the crickets and see the moths battling with the windowscreen And to add to all this there s a separate plot where an extreme evil is getting ready to reign once againSounds good It Americas First City does until you realize that he s going absolutely nowhere with it As the pages go by and the plot thickens you notice that the novel starts behaving like a flat tyre the atmosphere keeps evaporating faster and faster and the fewer pages left the absurdly predictable it becomes This is one sweet gigantic buildup to a climax that never happens and then it s over on ten pages I ve read that it s an expansion on a short story so my advice is to read that one instead. Nnection is made which will find the coupleeveloping a romantic relationship on somewhat strange terms What Jeremy and Carol o not know is that this relationship is the work of a strange little old man known as Mr Rosebottom Rosie is actually the Old One working to bring his master back after a very long absence and Jeremy and Carol are the unsuspecting keys to his succes.

Read Epub The Ceremonies – cafe1919.org

Dread is a word you on t see used much in association with horror fiction any And it s a shame because used properly slow building Neutered by the vet (The League of Dominant Women dread can be horrific than any gore or bloodlettingFortunately there are writers who understand this and one of the best examples can be found in THE CEREMONIES which starts slow gets slower but accumulatesread along the way like a wool suit collecting cat hairs And it s a marvel of timing precision and skill with its cast of great characters all circling around the central motifs each of them catching glimpses of the whole but none completely understanding what they are being shown or whyIt s also a remarkably timeless book It was written before laptops before cellphones and email but by setting it mostly in a remote rural farmscape it feels older still and its throwbacks to genre giants like Lovecraft and Machen in particular seem to root it even farther back in time again The slow build taking care and attention to let us get to know if not like the main characters gives their respective fates at the climax emotional resonance and a Charity Girl depth thats often lacking in fiction in the fieldThe writing itself is rich and lyrical the handling of viewpoint and control of pacing is expertlyone and the book is one of the wonders of modern weird fictionIt s a shame Klein hasn t produced over the years but kudos to PS Publishing for the fine new paperback edition I read this in which is a lovely piece of packaging for a book that Alipio deserves to be showcased I m probably risking heresy by saying this but even though I loved it and gave it five stars itid Seducing Ingrid Bergman drag a little at the end Because it becomes very clear what s going to happen But still filled with wonderful substance This is one of the greatest horror novels ever In the midst of frightening us the author also serves up a clever crash course in the history of the gothic novel of horror Brilliant since we are in the midst of one It s a longark book not perfect that woulkd be The Guardship (Thomas Marlowe, dull Easy to find for a pittance So yeah TED KleinEdited TWILIGHT ZONE MAGAZINE back in theay I subscribed from the first issue and wrote a passel of short stories which in my limited reading experience I found accomplished but A Secret Place did not completely grab me with the exception of The Events At Poroth Farm which he later expanded into this novel right here Klein s short fiction stands out in my mind for a singular reason of an endless slew of horror writers referencing Lovecraft for inspiration through theecades Klein was the first to make gestures towards engaging Lovecraft s ubious racial attitudes although let me phrase this correctly not in a critical way as a background elementI feel this is a pretty solid 3 stars novel Yes it expands on Poroth and if you ve read that you may find it a bit rawn out because you ve already experienced these events in a focused form This is not an inherent fault of or flaw in the novel however just part of the path by which it was conceived which must be taken into accountThe book is not without its strengths and not without its weaknesses I ll get to those in a moment Basic plot Divorced College lecturer Jeremy Friers takes a summer rental in the wilds of Northern New Jersey my home state to Brute Force (Nick Stone, do research on the Gothic novel The rental is located on the farm of a simple God fearing couple Sarr Deborah Poroth members of the small town s Christian fellowship sect think Amish or Mennonites As the summer progresses the farm and its occupants gradually begin to fall under sway of an encroaching corruption thatisrupts their lives Meanwhile in a parallel thread a virginal young woman Carol is manipulated by a charming but creepy old man Mr Rosebottom aka The Old One into eventually taking a role in the events the titular Ceremonies which he is orchestrating out on the farmThere s a bit of Harvest Home here with the isolated rural religious community observing and being observed by an outsider There s also a bit of Rosemary s Baby in Mr Rosebottom s recruitment of the unwitting Carol The book s main strengths lie in its character Beautiful Breasts Pictures depth and its commitment to a methodical atmospheric slow burneployment of the threat Events accrue in a slow To Risks Unknown detailed manner much as the enacting of the Ceremonies themselves must be approached eventually tipping fromisturbing When You Look Up detail to acts of aggression to apocalyptic happenings There s two things to be said about this later point First that may not be what some readers want from a horror novel no implicit judgment in that just a statement of truth There are lots of ways to write a novel and lots of ways to write a horror novel and not all of them work for everyone This is complicated by the second point however which is that even by the standards of someone like me who is totally willing to go along with this approach the bookrags a bit at the beginning and the climax is somewhat underwhelming relative to that slow build It is after all Klein s first novelThe book s weaknesses thus lie in its methodical approach eventually culminating in a seuence which while certainly horrific in some sense I found the literal YinYang symbolism of the climactic altar scene visually isturbing and suitably pulpy roaring fires flowers with teeth towering mounds an altar a monster an earthuake etc was also kind of familiar and in which the ultimate problem is solved somewhat too easily There s another aspect which some seemed to have a problem with the removal of the primary antagonist from the book at about the fourfifths point through a manner which some found too incidental I actually thought that while it could have been specifically handled in a slightly better way the actual event was not incongruous as the book had explicitly made the point earlier that the forces working for evil were just as fallible as the unwitting pawns wisdom small magics and an awareness of vast plots and powers o not necessarily overcome hubris lazy planning and impetuousness in other wordsThe characterization is another crux on which the book both rises and falls The methodical approach allows for an extended examination of the main characters and I felt they came across as well rounded and realistic bearing both positive and negative ualities like most people thus some find them unlikeable and balancing each other the basic uartet Any Girl Can Be a CandyKiss Girl! / Tea with the Birds / The G-SUS Gene dynamic the atheistic academic the friendly but pious farmer his eually pious but slightly sensuous wife and the virginal but worldly love interest is nicelyone Unfortunately for plot reasons one of those characters is not afforded an internal monologue like the rest and when you pick up on this you can begin to see where the story might be going Actually the carefully built character attention generally tends to fall apart near the end of the book and not merely because of those plot turns I mentioned in particular Sarr s visionary mother basically Scandal! disappears I think it may be intended that we presume she s killed and Carol a major character and focus of eual time attention at the start of the book basically has her roleiminished into that of a wordless prop by the endSome reviewers also uestion the wisdom of making Mr Rosebottom a main character as well seeing as he is the agent of an alien ancient evil but I actually kind of liked this and the small moments of rushing and mistake nicely humanized what is an essentially unknowable character in. Jeremy Freirs is a graduate student and teacher who The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel decides to spend his summer working on hisissertation and preparing for the class he will be teaching in the fall on Gothic Literature; he thinks he has found the perfect place in Gilead New Jersey is a world all to its own the home of a strict religious sect with extremely puritan ideas Moving into a former storage build.

Such a way as to make his efforts seem like efforts instead of some inevitable cosmic conspiracy and thus his ownfall seems plausible Truman Capote as servant of Yog Sothoth was how I pictured himOf course there s also the expected references to classic works of horror a nice little moment replicates an image from Green Tea by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and there are others with Arthur Machen s The White People the primary touchstone That may seem like an odd choice as the power of that tale comes from the observation and inculcation of ancient culticoccultic practices as filtered through the language and worldview of a young girl and any explication of those ominous mysteries might serve to undermine them rather than elevate them And yet Klein oes a good job with these mystery cult practices making them symbolic and resonant without rendering them too formulated and Shapely Ankle Preferrd deterministicReally this is an essentially flawed but sometimes rewarding work perhaps showing that Klein justidn t have it in him to commit to the novel structure in a satisfying way He Sword at Sunset does a very good job with landscape and environmentescription bringing the setting to life through repetition and attention to varied Fair Play (Zephyr Ranch details There s also some nice grace notes Sarr Poroth s longescription of his one and only visit to New York City Manhattan sketched in realistic but cold and brutal terms as viewed by a Moon-Flash (Kyreol, deeply religious man is very powerful this scene is followed by the initial encounter with andiscussion about the mysterious Tarot like Dynod eck with its ominous and unnerving yet oddly simple imagery And the whole seuence culminates in a fitful night of creepy and evocative nocturnal trance actions which cause time itself to slip a groove I also enjoyed the seuence with Carol at her ance class as her fellow students unwittingly fall under the sway of the folk magic ance she s been taughtBut there s also missed opportunities the ending feels rushed and I thought that would be made of such magicalpsychological training as the visualization and what if games it seemed likely they would figure into the climax allowing the evil an opportunity to manifest in a powerful form but such was not to beI think if you re a casual reader of horror you could probably pass on THE CEREMONIES and not miss much although you really should read Poroth Farm but if the Machen aspects or just an interest in Klein s work intrigues you you wouldn t be wasting your time by giving it a go either Neither the modern classic proclaimed by Thomas F Monteleone nor the abysmal failure proclaimed by some here on Goodreads the book oes have its rewards but also its longueurs Proceed with caution and keep the bug spray handy This book was a slow burn but when it finally got to the action it went out with a Bang Klein took his time with the build up He fleshed out the characters with The Secret Life of Birds detail I was truly attached to Jeremy and the Poroths Their ways were really similar to Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon I loved how Jeremy studied his collection of books My tbr listefinitely grew with his vintage and classic taste though i believe he was oing it for his class The ending was great I was saddened by the emise of some of the characters but it was an intense satisfying ending Filled with myths folklore and superstition you won t be New Penguin Cookery Book dissapointed if you have an earnest interest Can t wait toig into Dark Gods A big Wrong Pong dull plodding novel from the era of epic length horror works TED Klein s The Ceremonies is frustratingly evasive and off putting And while I could forgive a slow pace some of my favorite books are slower than this this thing is filled with unlikable unmemorable characters The main character Jeremy is especially grating as he s so cynical and bratty The only thing this book has going for it is its atmosphere Klein renders the feeling of living off the beaten path so to speak in a non technological village uite successfully I often felt I was there in the story It s just unfortunate everything else is boring and predictable and NOT SCARYI ve heard Klein s collection of novellas is better I will try that The tree wasead But crouched amid its branches hidden by a web of smoke still rising from the earth something lived something older far than humankind and Dealmakers Guide To Commercial Real Estate darker than some vast and sunless cavern on a world beyond the farthestepths of space Something that breathed schemed felt itself The Contest of the Century dying andying lived onIt was outside nature and alone It had no name High above the smoking ground it waited black against the blackness of the treeIt s time would come It is always so helpful when evil is ugly The Battle of the Atlantic darkemented scarred or The Real Dads Army deformed If we feel revulsion we can side step our way to the other side of the street until we have safely passed it by If we hear grotesue evil of some such knocking at ouroor we can look through the peephole and go Hell no I m not opening that portal But of course evil knows that presenting itself with horns forked tail and cloven hooves is not going to seduce many souls to the Model-Based Systems Engineering with OPM and SysML dark side Wouldn t it be better if it had the face of a child or was a beautiful woman or a charming handsome gentleman or maybe It has long been my conviction that were an absolute and unremitting Evil to find embodiment in human form it would manifest itself not as some hideous ogre or black caped apparition with glowing eyes but rather as an ordinary looking mortal of harmless even kindly mien a middle aged matron perhaps or a schoolboyor a little old man Nicolas Keize Beneath the Moss 1892Rosie is the man behind the scenes shuffling the cards pulling the strings and manipulating events He is about as harmless looking as a human being can be For all his paunch andouble chin he looked surprisingly frail up close and a good Pour une branche de gui deal older than she at first supposed perhaps well along in his seventies He was no taller than she was with plump little hands plump little lips and soft pink skin with little trace of hair He reminded her of a freshly powdered baby Although I will say that whenever I have shaken hands with someone with plump little hands their flesh always seems to pillow around my hand leaving it sticky and slightly Medieval Intrigue damp Shudder Okay maybe not the best tip off that I mealing with an evil entity but it is still an unsettling experience TED Klein wrote an ode to gothic mysteries which I can fully appreciate because I have a soft spot for those haunted mansion rattling chains The Folklore of Discworld demonic evil kind of plots In this case he abandons all the normal locations for a good skeleton rattling tale and takes us out to the country among a religious farming cult I can tell you that evil seems to follow around Bible thumpers like flies to a corpse I say if you want to avoid tangling with aiabolical fiend you should surround yourself with Bacchus loving atheists Jeremy Freirs The Ghost That Haunted Itself decides that country air would be good for him and that maybe abandoning the city will allow him to focus on hisissertation regarding gothic novels He brings bags full of books with him of all the usual suspects Edgar Allan Poe Bram Stoker Arthur Machen HP Lovecraft Ann Radcliffe and one of my favorite gothic novels The Monk Now on the Poroth farm he stands out like a sore thumb He is chubby in a community of people who stay rail thin working hard for a living They The Lucifer Code don t believe in modern conveniences not even electricity so farming is about as hard as. Ing on the farm of Sarr and Deborah Poroth he expects to spend a productive summer free from essentially allistractions he is uite wrong in this assumption Meanwhile in New York the rather reserved Carol Conklin goes about trying to survive in the big city on a small income from her job at a library She meets Jeremy in New York just before he leaves for the summer and a co.