Review: Enter, Night by Michael Rowe (4.5/5)

Vampires You Can Be Afraid Of

What happened to the world that my kids only know vampires as leather-clad superheroes and pouty emo teenagers?

VAMPIRES ARE MONSTERS TO BE FUCKING FEARED!

Who the hell is afraid of a sullen teenager who sparkles (when those sparkles are not the result of a horrifying encounter with a girl called Cinnamon after a lap dance)?

What happened to stories like Salem’s Lot? I loved the book and the 1979 TV mini-series is a classic. A classic that may be found on VHS, DVD and even Laserdisc at Casa Cheffo.

Fear not … or, more appropriately, fear!

Enter, Night contains actual vampires in a small mining town in 1970’s northern Ontario. Michael Rowe brings back the vampires of my youth and then throws in some other frightening parasites for good measure.

It’s dark and scary and bloody great!

Enter, Night from ChiZine Publications

A Beautifully Sculpted Book

Everybody has heard the writer-as-painter metaphor: praising a particular writer’s work for the efficacy of the images summoned. Sometimes it is apropos. Sometimes it may seem trite. It doesn’t really matter. In this case the metaphor simply doesn’t apply.

Michael Rowe doesn’t paint with his prose. He is a fucking sculptor.

The people, places and events of Enter, Night are as real to me as any I have encountered in the physical world. I felt the chill and the weight of the atmosphere, just as I felt the ghosts of my old English masters peering over my shoulder, nodding approval at the calibre of the fiction (not to mention some exquisite word choices that had me reaching for a dictionary, despite the benefit of a classical education).

Seriously, the man is smart and his writing reflects that. Even better, he gives the reader the benefit of the doubt and neither spoon-feeds nor beats you about the head with plot and theme, despite the fact that Enter, Night is rich with both.

If you haven’t read a good vampire book lately, read this one.

If you think that you have read a good vampire book recently, read this one — it’s better.

Disclaimer: I was fortunate enough to meet Michael Rowe last year at the book launch for Lauren B. Davis’ The Empty Room (well before I had read Enter, Night) and would like to point out that this review has not been unduly influenced by the fact that he is a very smart, charming and kind soul who was generous in conversation with this very nervous literary dilettante.

Michael Rowe’s new novel, Wild Fell, is due out soon and (last I heard) he will be reading at the Augusta House in Toronto on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 as part of the ChiSeries with Christopher Rice attending.

2 comments

  1. So glad you enjoyed this book, Jeff! Isn’t Michael a great writer. Can’t wait for “Wild Fell”!

    1. Hi Lauren! Thanks for dropping by.

      I am looking forward to hearing him at ChiSeries along with Melia McClure (whose The Delphi Room I also enjoyed very much).

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