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Old 12-01-2007   #11
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Re: Reggie Oliver

The rejuvenation of the Reggie Oliver thread is a rather timely one.
I had acquired a copy of The Complete Symphonies of Adolf Hitler a little over a year ago and spent a good deal of time reading it last holiday season, more specifically, during Christmas of last year. Being the nostalgic that I am, I actually like to read specific things at specific times of year so that when I cycle back around to them, I experience a kind of familiarity or, well, nostalgia when I read them. For example, there are things I read at the onset of autumn for many consecutive years running, or perhaps on Christmas Eve or Halloween to try and build associations between specific reading materials that seem to fit the strange moods of these different "holidays", if you want to call them that, for me personally. It's not so much that the holidays themselves hold some special power, but more that I happen to commonly have alot more time to do serious reading during these times because of my work schedule, which allows me to have long vacation-esque breaks during certain times of year where I like to read very seriously and intently, and when I try to get myself into a particularly surreal headspace, but of course, I digress.

Anyway, I really liked TCSoAH and the more I read Reggie Oliver's work, the more his rather polished and refined style appealed to me. As usual, when I discover a writer I really like, I usually go on a rampage and try to acquire every piece of their written works I can get my filthy hands on. Well, anyone that has scoured the world for Reggie's books can attest to how much an exercise in futility that endeavor can be. I was lucky enough to grab a copy TCSoAH when I did over a year ago, and I think I only paid like $150 dollars for it, and I considered myself lucky at that. Now, you virtually cannot find a copy of it even employing the use of the myriad book-related search engines that exist in cyberspace. I spent a year after that particular acquisition searching for The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini & Other Strange Tales, and lo and behold, I finally acquired a copy of this coveted and obscenely rare book just recently. When the book arrived at my door several weeks ago, I took it out of it's packaging and wanted to immediately dedicate a room to it, perhaps even build a shrine in my house to the goddamn thing after all of the searching I did. I don't mean to sound melodramatic (well maybe I do), but I figure people that frequent a board like this can appreciate a good, rare book acquisition story. Incidentally, for anyone who cares, without getting into a review, I have read most of the book at this point and it is really outstanding stuff, and I highly recommend it. It's almost not even fair to talk about something like Cardinal Vittorini, which is about as rare and obscure a modern tome as you could think of. Fortunately, I have it now, and although I have read most of it thus far, I am saving the last few stories for a late-night Christmas Eve reading, less than a month from now, and perhaps next year as well...

Needless to say, I have a copy of Reggie's Masques that will be arriving at my door from the U.K., and I look forward with great anticipation to reading it as well.
Tim

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. ~Charles C. Finn
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Old 12-01-2007   #12
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Re: Reggie Oliver

Ascrobious --

Your hunt for The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini & Other Strange Tales closely mirrors my own. I managed to acquire a copy about a year ago after a tremendous amount of searching. It also had an equally tremendous price tag. I agree, The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini & Other Strange Tales is exceedingly rare, and it appears to have reached a near legendary status. Not wanting to take any chances with the forthcoming Masques of Satan, I have a copy on pre-order also.

I know what you mean about reading certain authors during certain times of the year. For some reason I tend to only read Poe in the dead of winter.

"Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor." -- E. A. Poe

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough." Mark Twain
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Old 12-01-2007   #13
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Re: Reggie Oliver

Though I won't go so far as to promise that this book of Reggie's will become rare and valuable (though it's possible), I can promise Reggie Oliver is one of the best writers to hit the weird genre since Terry Lamsley, and to let the chance to buy one of his books go by without doing so is a bit foolish.

For those on the fence, or need a sampler, visit the Ghost Story Society's podcast page at http://gsspodcast.mypodcast.com/ where you'll find a story read by Reggie (in his theatrical style), as well as some other interesting pieces that are sure to keep your iPod warm with fright this year.

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Old 12-01-2007   #14
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Re: Reggie Oliver

Thanks for the update on Reggie Oliver's new book. I have his first two books due to the recommendations of TLO members. I guess I am one of the lucky ones that bought them at the publishers price before they sold out. I have only gotten around to reading a few stories from each volume, but I have enjoyed them.
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Old 12-03-2007   #15
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Re: Reggie Oliver

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I can promise Reggie Oliver is one of the best writers to hit the weird genre since Terry Lamsley
I have to confess that I'm not a Terry Lamsley enthusiast and I missed Reggie Oliver's first two collections, but I'm really looking forward to his newest one. I've read so many good things about his previous stories (among them words of praise by Mark Samuels in this review) that I'm now awaiting Masques of Satan with great anticipation.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 12-03-2007   #16
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Re: Reggie Oliver

Though I'd not compare Reggie Oliver's work directly to Terry Lamsley's, neither would I say that the dislike of one mean the enjoyment of the other.

For you, dear Haze, I'd recommend listening to Reggie's reading of "Puss-Cat" on the GSS podcast linked above. I'd hate to see you spend the money on something you don't enjoy. In many ways, Reggie's work is particularly old-school supernatural, and may not appeal to all fans of the genre . . . at least, fans of what's current in the genre.

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Old 12-03-2007   #17
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Re: Reggie Oliver

Thanks, Simon!
I was planning to listen to this story this week. I think this Ghost Story Society Podcast is a great idea.

Of all the stories by Terry Lamsley I've read so far I think "The Toddler" was one that I enjoyed most. I have to admit that I still haven't finished reading his two collections that stand on my bookshelves, so this absolutely doesn't mean my judgment is final. ;)

Quote
Reggie's work is particularly old-school supernatural
This is something which draws me even closer to his writing, as I am a great fan of such classic writers as Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, MR James, Vernon Lee, Robert Aickman, Oliver Onions, Stefan Grabinski or Walter de la Mare.

Quote
I'd hate to see you spend the money on something you don't enjoy
Actually, the mere fact that this title is coming out from Ash Tree Press makes it worth it's price.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 12-03-2007   #18
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Re: Reggie Oliver

I must admit, considering the list of authors you enjoy, I'm much more comfortable recommending Oliver to you.

I am surprised, though, that you like Aickman and don't like what you've read of Lamsley so far. I'm not sure which collections of the latter you have, but might I suggest "An Evening with Harrod" and "Walk the Dog"? Oh, and "Suburban Blight", of course. I think you may turn out to be a fan in the long run once you finish the books.

But if not, no matter. To each his own. Perhaps something more American like Laird Barron is right for you. Have you picked up his collection yet from Nightshade Books?

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Old 12-03-2007   #19
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Re: Reggie Oliver

Thanks a lot for these recommendations, Simon. I have Lamsley's Dark Matters and Conference with the Dead and paradoxically the titles you've mentioned are the ones I still haven't read, so perhaps it's the about time I give them a try. I have a tendency of reading stories in collections and anthologies in random order, which sometimes isn't a good habit.

As to Laird Barron, it's on my books-to-order list... somewhere at the top. But first I will have to investigate Westermead by Scott Thomas, which recently caught my attention when someone compared him to Ligotti.
Alas his Cobwebs and Whispers is out of print now! I wonder if any Ligottians from here have tried this collection.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 04-25-2008   #20
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Re: Reggie Oliver

I've just finished Reggie Oliver's three collections in 'one sitting' as it were:

The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini and Other Strange Stories (Haunted River 2003)
The Complete Symphonies of Adolf Hitler (Haunted River 2005)
Masques of Satan: Twelve Tales and a Novella (Ash Tree Press 2007)

This was a significant experience in my reading life. Combining the odd dark pleasures to be found in Robert Aickman, Walter de la Mare, M.R. James, Elizabeth Bowen, Oliver Onions but some elemental beyond these called Reggie Oliver ... with an idiosyncratic love of the British seaside, theatrical productions, conscious paintings, crabby scholars, teachers like those from the English grammar school I went to in the fifties and sixties, strange lusts and desires ... and essentially compulsive story telling, with evil swirling about fleshily or spiritually or both...
And much else.

A major modern Horror writer. Virgin territory for most, I guess.

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