Friday, March 23, 2012

FFR (20): The Painted Darkness by Brian James Freeman ★★★★

Friday Flashback is hosted by Jen @ The Introverted Reader.

Originally Reviewed: September 5, 2011
This was not at all what I expected. I have had this on my "to read" list for a while, and I'm glad that I read it, because I enjoyed it, quite a lot. This is one of those books that I think people will either really like, or just feel kind of 'meh' about. I think that there were a couple things here that really worked for me.

The Painted DarknessOne of those things is that I have a bit of creation fascination. I am not a creative person really. I have my moments where something will just click, but I have total creation envy for authors and artists and other people who make something out of nothing, especially when the process is an escape from themselves and the world, or maybe an involuntary need to express something. Those kind of compulsory drives to get it out are fascinating to me. And I liked seeing how that was portrayed here.

Another one of those things is the way the story was told, alternating between young Henry and present day adult Henry. I thought that this format worked well. The pacing was just right to keep me interested (and I admit that I was slightly more interested in the Young Henry sections than the Adult Henry ones), and I thought that the tone of the story was excellent. Atmospheric and creepy, while keeping a sense of realism even when things leave realism behind. This wasn't a Shock & Gore story, this was a ...something's just... not... quite... right... story. And I liked it for that. Because it made me think, and wonder, and guess, and I love when stories can do that, and draw me into them and make me care about the characters - or, in this case, character, singular.

This story will stick with me for a while, and even in the process of writing this review, I've been turning it over in my mind and drawing new conclusions and thinking of things in a different way, and I'm liking it even more now because of that.

And, I think I'll just leave it at that.


  1. Nice review. Makes me want to read the book.

  2. I have to admit, my curiosity is piqued, I'll keep an eye out for this book!

  3. I really enjoyed this book a lot. Brian himself is also a really nice guy, too. :)

    Funny story: He joined the Stephen King group I co-moderate on Goodreads, and I'd interacted with him quite a few times before I realized that he was THE Brian James Freeman whose book I'd enjoyed! LOL Derp! :P