A Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw

A Song for Quiet

Deacon James is a rambling bluesman straight from Georgia, a black man with troubles that he can't escape, and music that won't let him go. On a train to Arkham, he meets trouble — visions of nightmares, gaping mouths and grasping tendrils, and a madman who calls himself John Persons. According to the stranger, Deacon is carrying a seed in his head, a thing that will destr...

Title:A Song for Quiet
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Edition Language:English

A Song for Quiet Reviews

  • Lindsay Bee

    Just so you know, Cassandra Khaw's work is my aesthetic.

    I mean this 100%.

    This book makes me hurt with how viscerally, disgustingly, triumphantly good it is. It's Lovecraft elevated to human art instead of just dry cosmic musings; the characters in this book are so real you ache for them, you feel your own bile rise as they confront nameless horror. There is a such a strong thread of call-and-answer in this story, questions characters ask being asked of the reader as well, sacrifices the charac

    Just so you know, Cassandra Khaw's work is my aesthetic.

    I mean this 100%.

    This book makes me hurt with how viscerally, disgustingly, triumphantly good it is. It's Lovecraft elevated to human art instead of just dry cosmic musings; the characters in this book are so real you ache for them, you feel your own bile rise as they confront nameless horror. There is a such a strong thread of call-and-answer in this story, questions characters ask being asked of the reader as well, sacrifices the characters make turned into sacrifices the reader chooses too. It's a way of writing that I don't find often--the directness, the questions hidden in the void, the pulp and gore a reminder of what existence costs.

    I say it so often I feel like I'm a broken record but Lovecraft without the actual Lovecraft is my favorite genre. Especially Lovecraft written by women, by people of color, by voices Lovecraft himself would have shouted silent in his sniveling way. This story is evidence of how powerful cosmic horror can be when the human isn't neglected, when the human is elevated, when humanity is given power too--nonsensical, horrifying, destructive power, sure, but power all the same--a place within the cosmic scale.

    I recommend Cassandra Khaw's work 100% and I can't wait to read more.

  • K.J. Charles

    A lyrical, deeply weird horror novella about a bluesman with a song in his head that will end the world (and since he's black in 1950s USA, you can see the temptation). As with the best horror, humanity comes across as pretty much as awful as the Old Ones with tentacles, although those are also spectacularly grim.

    Khaw's writing is incredibly rich, with the saturation turned up to 100 all the time to dizzying effect, and her knack for vividly revolting images has not deserted her (insert canniba

    A lyrical, deeply weird horror novella about a bluesman with a song in his head that will end the world (and since he's black in 1950s USA, you can see the temptation). As with the best horror, humanity comes across as pretty much as awful as the Old Ones with tentacles, although those are also spectacularly grim.

    Khaw's writing is incredibly rich, with the saturation turned up to 100 all the time to dizzying effect, and her knack for vividly revolting images has not deserted her (insert cannibalism 'dessert' gag here, or just read the hilariously horrific

    ) but what makes her horror really special for me is the sense of deep kindness and, for lack of a better word, humanity in the worst possible circumstances that underpins it. She suggests we are, just about, better than this, and it gives a vital grounding to the baroque events and blood-splatter.

  • Kdawg91

    I am reviewing both books in the Persons Non Grata series at the same time (this one and Hammers on Bone). I have spent the year trying to read things I don't usually, horror and novellas, and honestly, I am kind of glad I did.

    I recently told a friend of mine, (Hey Dan) I thought that some writers did Lovecraft better than Lovecraft did himself (weird sentence there..) Ms. Khaw happens to be one of them. As a reader who enjoys the Chulthu mythos more than the actual Lovecraft works, I love the f

    I am reviewing both books in the Persons Non Grata series at the same time (this one and Hammers on Bone). I have spent the year trying to read things I don't usually, horror and novellas, and honestly, I am kind of glad I did.

    I recently told a friend of mine, (Hey Dan) I thought that some writers did Lovecraft better than Lovecraft did himself (weird sentence there..) Ms. Khaw happens to be one of them. As a reader who enjoys the Chulthu mythos more than the actual Lovecraft works, I love the fact that while her characters maintain a deep level of humanity, the beings encountered in the world have a more visceral punch than the dry, cosmic horror usually brought out. The things they face are not remotely like us, for the most part we are beneath them and they will do whatever they want. To me, that's where the horror lies. The things that lie under the surface of our perfect little world will destroy you, eat you up and never stop just because you scream. That's the kind of punch that makes Ms. Khaw's stories a strong read. I spent 2 hours and read them both, and can't wait for more.

    If you like your horror on the more weird alien side, these are for you.


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