The Vorrh by Brian Catling

The Vorrh

Brian Catling

You'll have to abandon genre expectations, and work hard as a reader to supply psychological categories - so deep is this inner landscape, and so intuitive the supernatural uncertainties. In terms of characters it's a Jacobean bloodbath, but so many shards of primitive visions and alternative realities emerge, which will develop later in the trilogy.

Extract

He came out of the nightmare into the nightmare. The scream of the whistle and the blistering sun illuminated worse than he had dreamt. He had no idea why the floor shuddered, why he held on to a dead man who stank of vegetation, or why he could not wake out of it. The train was slowing, the first signs of civilisation beginning to show. Fences and enclosures appeared by the side of the track, cut into the edge of the forest, which seemed to be loosening its grip on the land. Slower still, and the huts began to cluster and swarm around the track, gradually gaining height and culture. The shrill train braked, piercing its arrival to the approaching city. The corpse's head jolted to one side, its marble black eyes staring at nothing. The Frenchman looked away with a regret he could not explain, as the train slouched to a halt in the steaming station. He did not see that the wet, black orbs were still moving, still actively flinching to grab at any motes of light or meaning.

Parallels
  • The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones
  • The Ritual by Adam L G Nevill
  • Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay

Books with similar mood

Secret Passages in a Hillside Town

Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

The Clay Dreaming

Ed Hillyer

Landor's Tower

Iain Sinclair

Psychoraag

Suhayl Saadi

House of Leaves

Mark Z Danielewski

Blue Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Stuart Turton

The Seducer

Jan Kjaerstad

The Impressionist

Hari Kunzru

The Kiln People

David Brin

The Aeronaut's Guide to Rapture

Stuart Campbell

Umbrella

Will Self

Queen of the South

Arturo Perez-Reverte

The Wisdom of Crocodiles

Paul Hoffman

Santa Evita

Tomas Elroy Martinez

The Adjacent

Christopher Priest

The Alchemy of Desire

Tarun Tejpal

The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder

Sarah Harris

The Scar

China Mieville

The Years of Rice and Salt

Kim Stanley Robinson

The Sport of Kings

C E Morgan

The Taker

Alma Katsu

A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven

Karl O Knausgaard

The Good Son

You-jeong Jeong

Traveller of the Century

Andres Neuman

The House of Shattered Wings

Aliette de Bodard

The House of Rumour

Jake Arnott

The Dollmaker

Nina Allan

Europe in Autumn

Dave Hutchinson

As Though She Were Sleeping

Elias Khoury

Finch

Jeff VanderMeer

Norma

Sofi Oksanen

Absolution

Patrick Flanery

Paprika

Yasutaka Tsutsui

Let the Right One In

John Ajvide Lindqvist

Austerlitz

W G Sebald

The Birth of Venus

Sarah Dunant

The Old Drift

Namwali Serpell

My Name is Red

Orhan Pamuk

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis

Little

Edward Carey

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

In This Way I Was Saved

Brian DeLeeuw

Crusaders

Richard T Kelly

SOUND

T M Wolf

Drivetime

James Meek

The Known World

Edward Jones

A Whistling Woman

A S Byatt

Nowhere People

Paulo Scott