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on April 23, 2013 :
The cover of this book does not do the story justice. This was one of the most fascinating and thought-provoking stories I have ever read. It’s told from the perspective of mild-mannered archivist Charles Millburn, but the real story revolves around the incredibly fascinating, mysterious Herbert West and his necromantic attempts. I absolutely loved this setup – Herbert West’s story became so much more intriguing when viewed through the eyes of another. This is definitely what the author intended when she wrote this gorgeous piece of literature, and I feel she pulled it off beautifully.
Herbert West alarmed, enchanted, and terrified me all at once. He is ruthless in his ambitions, confident that he will not be discovered, and willing to do whatever it takes to get his way. He should have been the villain of the piece but, perhaps because the story is told through his loyal follower Charles Millburn, I was instead sympathetic for him, and wanted him to succeed despite the fact that what he was doing was morally questionable at best.
The only complaint I can really make is that I felt the story dragged in places. The first half of the story was absolutely gripping, but once the characters separate and go their own ways for a bit, I wasn’t quite as enthralled – although once they get back together, the story picks up pace again.
Overall, a gripping and fascinating insight into a brilliant and disturbed mind (Herbert West, not the author!). I would definitely recommend this to any fan of H.P. Lovecraft, fans of sci-fi/fantasy, and anyone who just enjoys excellently written literature.
(review of free book)
on Nov. 08, 2012 :
‘The Friendship of Mortals’ took an unusually long time for me to read, because the language used, quite apart from the story, is a work of art in itself. On several occasions, I felt a need to read a particular sentence or paragraph to my associates and friends. On each of those occasions, the response was of profound admiration for the skill of Audrey Driscoll. This book is a work of art, a lesson in writing. It is a book that I will read over and over, simply for the pleasure that the use of the language gives me.
(review of free book)
on July 30, 2012 :
Audrey Driscoll can flat out write. Her magnum opus, a trio that is really a quartet, begins with The Friendship of Mortals, a stunner of a whopping novel. A character study set from 1910-1938, the book combines historical fiction with strong dollops of Edgar Allen Poe, Henry James, Mary Shelley, and Stephen King.
The Ahab-like central character, renegade physician Herbert West, lures our Ishmael-like narrator, the meek Charles Milburn, to assist him in increasingly dangerous and illegal experimental activities involving, well, revivification. The plot, aided and enriched by the finely wrought journalist, Alma, slowly envelopes a reader until reaching a fever pitch at the climax.
To get back to the writing: The tone is sure, the descriptions and word paintings lush, the action inevitable, and the reader's suspension of disbelief complete. I spent many an evening reading this tome (it's not a short book), and relished every minute.
I'm looking forward to reading the next three in the series. Experience tells me I won't be disappointed.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on July 28, 2012 :
Normally I don't read supernatural novels. Fantasy yes; supernatural thrillers, no. But I am totally addicted to this trilogy. I couldn't put it down when I first read it and I couldn't wait for the next volume. That's a mark of how well it's written and how compelling the characters are.
(reviewed long after purchase)