As part of our Locus Challenge, we are hosting a giveaway for 10 electronic review copies (PDF) of Clowns at Midnight by Terry Dowling to ten lucky readers, thanks to the generosity of PS Publishing. Clowns at Midnight by Terry Dowling is on the Locus recommended reading list as one of the best first novels of the year 2010. Here’s the book blurb:
Troubled by coulrophobia, a lifelong fear of clowns, 41-year-old writer David Leeton goes to the north-eastern corner of New South Wales to mind a property for a friend. Not usually one to run away from his problems, David has just come out of a seven-year relationship with Julia, and needs time away from his old routines. House-sitting at Starbreak Fell seems the perfect solution.
David is especially glad of his decision when he meets his neighbors, the charming and surprisingly well educated Risi family, Sardinian Australians who raise pigs in the area, even more so when he is introduced to one of their guests at dinner, the intriguing and increasingly beguiling Gemma Ewins.
But David isn’t at Starbreak Fell very long before strange things start to happen: glimpses of masked figures, voices calling in the night, terrifying images left on his computer, events disturbingly related to his special condition which draw him again and again to the mysterious stone tower on the forested hilltop behind the house.
Clowns at Midnight is a powerful and spellbinding tale of fear and wonder, of unexpected transformations and genuine redemption. David’s discoveries in this almost overlooked corner of rural Australia lead him full-square into both the universal mystery at the forgotten heart of Western civilization and the deepest, darkest secrets of the human condition.
Here’s praise for Clowns at Midnight:
“With its acute observations of a parched landscape, its blending of the everyday and the forces of myth, Clowns at Midnight is an exceptional work that bears comparison to John Fowles’s The Magus.” The Guardian
“If you wish to fall into another world for a time—of shifting masks, beautiful bodies and terrible fears, of mystic philosophy and living labyrinths (with the human heart at their centre)—you have found your book…Mr. Dowling’s Clowns at Midnight is the stuff of magic.” Danel Olson, editor of Exotic Gothic I, II, III, and 21st Century Gothic: Great Gothic Novels Since 2000
“Clowns at Midnight is a masterpiece of suspense – a suspense that is multiplied, rendered all the more terrifying, by the brilliantly constructed ambiguity of the plot. This is the territory of John Fowles’s great novels, The Magus and A Maggot: a psychological landscape in which the reliability of perception, of memory, and of narration is interrogated to its uttermost limits. And Terry Dowling’s fine prose is quite the equal of Fowles’s in the bargain.” Nick Gevers, editor of Postscripts, Extraordinary Engines, Other Earths, Infinity Plus
“Clowns at Midnight plays with a grand spectrum of emotions…At novel length, Dowling can work his peculiar magics in an almost symphonic form. The result is a memorable addition to the Tales of Appropriate Fear.” Faren Miller, Locus
To enter in the giveaway, you must:
Best of luck, and happy reading! This giveaway ends March 9, 2011 at midnight Pacific time.
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