Friday, September 8, 2017

A Song For Quiet, by Cassandra Khaw

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(Horror; Persons Non Grata) Deacon James plays the blues, but on a train ride a new melody gets into his head. Something powerful enough to change people’s lives—or end them. (17,748 words; Time: 59m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

Add a star if you really know music and enjoy reading descriptions of how it is played. See related articles on

"," by (edited by Carl Engle-Laird), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: Deacon first wants to understand the music, then he wants to save the world. He succeeds, but at the cost of his own life.

Ana wants to end the world, but Deacon talks her into saving it.

The 1952 setting brings the racial discrimination home to us. This adds a touch of tension and a touch of anger to the story.

Con: It’s not clear why Deacon had to die. Why didn’t he just find Persons and do that deal he proposed in the first place?

The prose is too purple. E.g. “The visions etiolate, a damask of ghosts.” Or “The air fulgurates and thickens.”

The story goes on for too long after Deacon’s death.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. This veered too hard into horror territory for my personal taste. The last one was on the edge and I was happy with that, but this one goes a bit too far.
    I liked the decision to show Persons from another perspective, I thought it was very effective in this installment of the series
    I disagree about the prose though - she's deliberately aping the purple prose of Lovecraft, and to a lesser extent hardboiled detective pulps, to get an effect.