The Grin of the Doll Who Ate his Mother's Face in the Dark and Other Dreadful Tales

Adult
Rated 4.33/5 based on 3 reviews
For the past fifty years, the legendary Lamblake Heinz has been astounding the world with his amazing tales of incredible horror! Readers have literally exploded when reading his work! At long last all his finest short-stories are available in a single volume! Dare you penetrate the portals of his darkness? Or are you a big scaredy cat? More
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Price: Free! USD
Words: 59,380
Language: English
ISBN: 9781476037264
About Lamblake Heinz

Lamblake Heinz is a reclusive horror novelist born in a tent on the Gower Peninsular sometime in the 1940s. Known primarily for his standalone novels such as NOT ALL ZOMBIES EAT MEAT, DR FRANKENSTEIN STITCHED ME UP and RAT ON A HOT TIN COT, he also has written a trilogy of five books which have yet to see light of day as they are "only readable in the dark." (His own description).

Heinz is also famous for his eccentricity and aversion to prunes. He also has an unspecified problem with aardvarks. He is fond of saying, "Inside every thin man is a fat man crushed to death in an oubliette." In his youth he founded the British Society of Weird Fantasy in order to increase the number of awards he was eligible to win. He has won all of them since.

He has also written more than 900 stories that have been highly praised by such luminaries as Stephen Kong, James Sherbert and M. John Horrorson, who issued the following joint statement: "Lamblake Heinz writes of things beyond the ken of mortal man even more effectively than ken himself does."

Reviews

Review by: Adrian Chamberlin on July 25, 2012 :
Rhys Hughes has released a book entitled The Grin of the Doll Who Ate His Mother’s Face in the Dark and Other Tales of Terror, purportedly written by Lamblake Heinz, a not-very-subtle reference to Ramsey Campbell. This has angered many in the UK horror community, as it’s seen to be a direct insult to Ramsey Campbell – generally regarded as the world’s greatest living horror writer - and his writing.

It certainly references Ramsey Campbell’s choice of titles of his early works, spoofing The Doll Who Ate His Mother and The Grin of the Dark; but that is as far as the “insult” goes.

I can confirm it’s not a spoof of Ramsey’s writing, but a piss-take of “classical” horror-writing in general. Think of it as a highbrow Garth Marenghi: there are digs at MR James and HP Lovecraft, as is to be expected – Cthulpoo may seem a bit of an obvious reference, but it still made this hardened Lovecraft fan giggle. Yes, that’s as highbrow as this gets!

And M.R. James? What is here to angrify readers and contributors to the likes of Ghosts & Scholars? Well, not much. With titles such as “Oh Whistle, and I’ll Come Inside You My Lad” and “A Warning To the Bi-Curious” schoolboy sniggers abound.

But what else? Does the editor overbake the pudding, or is there a darker agenda at play here? Well, let’s consider the evidence:

The contents include mysterious pink oboes that will make you weep tears of sentimental eyejuice; attritional banalities within a bleak café of unremitting bleakness, maturity wanking, and titties of further unremitting bleakness; Gothic haikus and spoof interviews; eldritch nastiness from unfathomable dimensions with chainsaws, ghosts – or, possibly, psychos - and plenty of intentionally clumsy phrases and sentence structure to make every horror writer wince with recognition. Such as:

“Lightning cut through the sky like a hot cliché through butter.”

“Billy’s eyes misted over nostalgically as he reminisced about his own past with a dreamy expression.”

And my favourites, which are cringingly similar to how I started off with my own Lovecraft imitations: “He had turned the key and squeaked the oblong of grim wood with its eldritch carvings into the ‘ajar’ position.” and “Had his violation of the strict rule preventing the opening of the forbidden door to the hideous room conjured forth a genuine demon from the spaces between the stars where drifted forever a clutch of indescribable abominations?”

So there you are. If Rhys Hughes has some sort of agenda against Mr C, this wouldn’t be the way to do it. No disrespect to Ramsey Campbell, but it’s hard to imagine an entire book being written with the express intent of mocking his writing. It just wouldn’t be funny.

I should add that not all the contributions were written by Rhys Hu…sorry, by Lamblake Heinz. When you get to the end, fellow contributors’ names are given (in code format, so if you wish to discover who dared add to this piece and jeopardise their careers you will have to decipher a series of clues, each more fiendish than the last…)

Like Rhysops’ Fables, this book takes a scattergun approach to the puns and jokes, but that’s no bad thing. Like Fables, there are misses: the pulp-era Lamblake novella excerpt Genetic Crocodiles on the Rampage offered so much comic potential with its nods to Guy N Smith, Shaun Hutson, and others who worked in the animals-on-the-rampage scene of the 70s and 80s. Sadly, it went on too long and offered few laughs; although Lamblake graciously admits he doesn’t mind if any would-be author wishes to pick the tale up from where it ended. Still, there was potential there for mockery of the over-the-top writing styles of pulp fictioneers as well as the reasons big-name writers decided to “slum it” by writing pulp under a pseudonym – Ramsey Campbell wrote tales under the name Carl Dreadstone and appeared to enjoy the experience – but the potential here for satire was lost. A pity.

Overall, there are more hits than misses. An interview with Mr Heinz and his reasons for the foundation of the British Fantasy for Weird Fantasy may strike a little too close for comfort, but again it’s all in jest.

Final verdict? The Grin of the Doll Who Ate His Mother’s Face in the Dark and Other Tales of Terror is hilarious, and not to be taken seriously. It’s neither big nor clever, but it’s not a personal attack on Mr Campbell. I suspect Rhys chose the Ramsey Campbell reference as Mr Campbell is generally regarded as the world’s finest living horror writer, and held to be the ultimate example of what a horror writer should aspire to...

I hope prospective buyers of the book won’t be put off by the disapproving mutterings within the horror establishment, and even the folk referenced in the spoof blurbs at the beginning will find plenty to chuckle about here.

For the record, Ramsey Campbell has a cool sense of humour. To me, his finest novel is The Hungry Moon, one of the reasons being his creation of the characters Gloom and Despondency. Read it, and you’ll see what I mean. And this is what he had to say about Christopher Moore’s Practical Demonkeeping (next on my TBR pile):

“Hellishly hilarious, diabolically ingenious, with a devil of a story that keeps coming at you like a fiend. And what fantasy fan could resist a novel in which H.P. Lovecraft runs a café?”

I really think he’ll like this!


Iarse! Iarse! Cthulpoo fartaghn!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Adrian Chamberlin on July 25, 2012 :
Rhys Hughes has released a book entitled The Grin of the Doll Who Ate His Mother’s Face in the Dark and Other Tales of Terror, purportedly written by Lamblake Heinz, a not-very-subtle reference to Ramsey Campbell. This has angered many in the UK horror community, as it’s seen to be a direct insult to Ramsey Campbell – generally regarded as the world’s greatest living horror writer - and his writing.

It certainly references Ramsey Campbell’s choice of titles of his early works, spoofing The Doll Who Ate His Mother and The Grin of the Dark; but that is as far as the “insult” goes.

I can confirm it’s not a spoof of Ramsey’s writing, but a piss-take of “classical” horror-writing in general. Think of it as a highbrow Garth Marenghi: there are digs at MR James and HP Lovecraft, as is to be expected – Cthulpoo may seem a bit of an obvious reference, but it still made this hardened Lovecraft fan giggle. Yes, that’s as highbrow as this gets!

And M.R. James? What is here to angrify readers and contributors to the likes of Ghosts & Scholars? Well, not much. With titles such as “Oh Whistle, and I’ll Come Inside You My Lad” and “A Warning To the Bi-Curious” schoolboy sniggers abound.

But what else? Does the editor overbake the pudding, or is there a darker agenda at play here? Well, let’s consider the evidence:

The contents include mysterious pink oboes that will make you weep tears of sentimental eyejuice; attritional banalities within a bleak café of unremitting bleakness, maturity wanking, and titties of further unremitting bleakness; Gothic haikus and spoof interviews; eldritch nastiness from unfathomable dimensions with chainsaws, ghosts – or, possibly, psychos - and plenty of intentionally clumsy phrases and sentence structure to make every horror writer wince with recognition. Such as:

“Lightning cut through the sky like a hot cliché through butter.”

“Billy’s eyes misted over nostalgically as he reminisced about his own past with a dreamy expression.”

And my favourites, which are cringingly similar to how I started off with my own Lovecraft imitations: “He had turned the key and squeaked the oblong of grim wood with its eldritch carvings into the ‘ajar’ position.” and “Had his violation of the strict rule preventing the opening of the forbidden door to the hideous room conjured forth a genuine demon from the spaces between the stars where drifted forever a clutch of indescribable abominations?”

So there you are. If Rhys Hughes has some sort of agenda against Mr C, this wouldn’t be the way to do it. No disrespect to Ramsey Campbell, but it’s hard to imagine an entire book being written with the express intent of mocking his writing. It just wouldn’t be funny.

I should add that not all the contributions were written by Rhys Hu…sorry, by Lamblake Heinz. When you get to the end, fellow contributors’ names are given (in code format, so if you wish to discover who dared add to this piece and jeopardise their careers you will have to decipher a series of clues, each more fiendish than the last…)

Like Rhysops’ Fables, this book takes a scattergun approach to the puns and jokes, but that’s no bad thing. Like Fables, there are misses: the pulp-era Lamblake novella excerpt Genetic Crocodiles on the Rampage offered so much comic potential with its nods to Guy N Smith, Shaun Hutson, and others who worked in the animals-on-the-rampage scene of the 70s and 80s. Sadly, it went on too long and offered few laughs; although Lamblake graciously admits he doesn’t mind if any would-be author wishes to pick the tale up from where it ended. Still, there was potential there for mockery of the over-the-top writing styles of pulp fictioneers as well as the reasons big-name writers decided to “slum it” by writing pulp under a pseudonym – Ramsey Campbell wrote tales under the name Carl Dreadstone and appeared to enjoy the experience – but the potential here for satire was lost. A pity.

Overall, there are more hits than misses. An interview with Mr Heinz and his reasons for the foundation of the British Fantasy for Weird Fantasy may strike a little too close for comfort, but again it’s all in jest.

Final verdict? The Grin of the Doll Who Ate His Mother’s Face in the Dark and Other Tales of Terror is hilarious, and not to be taken seriously. It’s neither big nor clever, but it’s not a personal attack on Mr Campbell. I suspect Rhys chose the Ramsey Campbell reference as Mr Campbell is generally regarded as the world’s finest living horror writer, and held to be the ultimate example of what a horror writer should aspire to...

I hope prospective buyers of the book won’t be put off by the disapproving mutterings within the horror establishment, and even the folk referenced in the spoof blurbs at the beginning will find plenty to chuckle about here.

For the record, Ramsey Campbell has a cool sense of humour. To me, his finest novel is The Hungry Moon, one of the reasons being his creation of the characters Gloom and Despondency. Read it, and you’ll see what I mean. And this is what he had to say about Christopher Moore’s Practical Demonkeeping (next on my TBR pile):

“Hellishly hilarious, diabolically ingenious, with a devil of a story that keeps coming at you like a fiend. And what fantasy fan could resist a novel in which H.P. Lovecraft runs a café?”

I really think he’ll like this!


Iarse! Iarse! Cthulpoo fartaghn!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jason E. Rolfe on July 11, 2012 :
Rhys Hughes has always flouted convention. With "The Grin of the Doll Who Ate His Mother's Face in the Dark and Other Dreadful Tales" he brazenly mocks it, tackling the types and tropes of horror fiction with the tactical wit we've come to expect from the mad genius. As Hughes points out in the forward, "a writer worth his salt and also his pepper and also his mustard is never satisfied to stand still with the topics and themes that have made him famous." These topics and themes are the target of the author's wit in this clever collection. But don't mistake this mayhem for malice. Hughes has dedicated "The Grin of the Doll" to "all horror fans with a sense of humour" and has graciously donated all proceeds to Animal Aid. The book is not meant to offend, it simply illustrates the author's well-established absurdist outlook and should come as no surprise (having said that, Hughes never ceases to surprise, so you might actually be surprised, or would have been had I not just spoiled it by telling you that you might be) to those familiar with his work. Fans of Rhys Hughes will find this collection typically “Hughsian” (which is to say witty, absurd and utterly delightful). Fans of horror fiction will find (good, healthy) reasons to laugh at themselves.
(reviewed long after purchase)

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