- Male herbs
- Translated by Josep Samperi
- 321 pages
- 21,90 euros
Is the book worth reading for only the last thirty pages? Well, sometimes yes, and Summer sacrifices It is a very clear example. If you ever want to use the phrase “apotheosis” and it's not a common place, you can use this sample book. What an ending! It is not something off the cuff, but rather the logical conclusion of everything the author was working on, carefully and skillfully planted inside the reader’s mind, and exploding in his face, like his saying: “You see, you are the only one who has come this far?” Like the protagonist of the novel. , Marianne Rolfe, a New York girl who's a little obsessed with antiques. What a fool!
This is the first translation into Catalan – thanks to Josep Samper, and thanks to the good eye of the Mals Herbs publishing house, which wanted to save it – of a cult work of the purest American horror genre, a novel · that of 1973 by the New York author Robert Marasco, which fans should remember The Good Cinema Horrors, due to the Dan Curtis adaptation, are memorable, but not as good as the book, and not by a long shot. It is a novel for patient readers only: there are no late deaths, no doors to close, and no traps to fall into. There is one scream, one door slamming. Yes, it sounds like a typical horror novel with a protagonist's home — a sinister building, oppressive spaces, clocks that don't run on time — but it's more subtle than all that: you can almost say it remembers The Curse of Hill Houseby the great Shirley Jackson.
All the mystery in one place
Nothing happens at night, for example. Everything happens under the scorching sun and stifling heat. Horror can be a flower growing, a meadow turning green, or a pond cleaning itself. Horror can be white hair on the temples. It's a very good example of a horror novel for anyone who wants to study its basic mechanics: the whole mystery is based on one place, one room, supposedly inhabited by an old woman in need of care. The door that gives access to her is always locked and only shakes slightly when poor Marianne approaches it, which she does more and more, driven by a real obsession that absorbs her and isolates her from her husband and son, with which he has decided to spend the summer dream.
We can say that the book answers one question: What are you willing to sacrifice for your obsessions? Of all that you have built—family, love, children, well-being, balance—what would you willingly give up? and what else? And then what? Robert Marasco's merit and skill was to write a story with psychological depth: knowing that our mind is the most powerful machine that makes us feel fear, he activated its basic mechanisms. The fear of losing what we love most in an everyday accident and in the most idyllic of circumstances: this is what we never want to happen, what comes closest to suffering every time we emerge, whistling, from the parking lot to face another weekend.
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