Terror Beyond Measure: A Norton Pumblesmythe Short Story

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Where's the best place to spend Halloween? The most haunted venue in Victorian London, of course! Terror Beyond Measure is a macabre comedy that introduces Norton Pumblesmythe; a deranged toff rewriting the history books through an absinthe glazed eye. There is no landmark event that cannot be gatecrashed, no famous figure who cannot be harassed, and no drug that cannot be mixed with alcohol. More

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About Ian Clements

'Biography?' I mused, tapping my pipe on the arm of the chair in idle thought.

There was a creak to my right as a gentleman, lulled by brandy and heat of the fire, awoke to utter: 'A summation of your life, good fellow. Triumphs, pitfalls, steamy romances.'

I sipped whisky and stared into the hearth's soothing dance of flame. 'They shall not be reassured, thus. I was born before a blank page, blood black as ink for that ravenous foolscap. I have destroyed more worlds then most men view in a lifetime. Adverbs whisper to me in the darkness. My first short story was forty thousand words, and I do not understand Twitter.'

The gentleman grunted assent and drew on his cigar. 'Well then. Do you plan giveaways, some form of question and answer scenario?'

'Perhaps' I murmured, steepling fingers as a caculating smile spread across my face.


Review by: J. B. Garner on March 5, 2015 :
From jbgarner58.wordpress.com:

Some literary foods are full meals, heaping quantities to be ingested and enjoyed at a table over a course of time. Others, however, are tender morsels, snacks meant to be gulped down quickly in this fast ‘on-the-go’ world we live in. Terror Beyond Measure is one of those snacks. Does its small size mean it lacks flavor or is it a taste-filled delight in a minute package?

Before I answer that, let us remember the Starving Review creed:

I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre.
I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible.

The old saying, ‘It’s not the size of the tool but how you use it.’, is most fitting for this wonderful little romp. Terror comes in like a bolt from the blue with excellent prose and doesn’t stop. What we are given is a microcosm of a larger piece: an interesting hook, character build-up, rising action, a fantastic climax, then a proper denouement. What is truly remarkable is that none of these bite-sized story elements is poorly executed. Everything comes off without a hitch.

The main character is cooked up with a sure hand and plenty of dashes of flavor, aided by an intimate first-person perspective, but the primary minor character isn’t left out either. Just this one adventure is enough that I hope to read more of Norton’s tales in the future … that’s how much this short story’s depiction of its protagonist impacted me.

The plot itself takes a careful blend of British wit, a classic time period, and some liberal dashes of Lovecraftian horror, gives it all a good stir, then gets it nice and hot in a short period of time. I would argue that the writer actually turns the short subject into an advantage here, as this one adventure would suffer from exaggerated and drawn-out pacing if it wasn’t tackled as a short subject. Very well done.

The framing device set up by the Prologue also works well here, providing some added world-building as well as giving the reader some fun interesting facts about some real-world events. Brilliant.

Just like the piece itself, I think it’s best to leave this review as a bite-sized morsel as well. There is little else to be said without dragging on for too long or giving away potential spoilers. Let’s just sum it up as this: Terror Beyond Measure is worth every penny of its cost and delivers wit, humor, action, and supernatural thrills in a snack-sized delight of a tale! I highly recommend this to any horror fan and, well, just about anyone who loves fantasy or adventure tales.

FINAL VERDICT: ***** (Wit, humor, action, and the supernatural in a snack-sized delight!)
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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