A saga written by Michael McDowell
If you've been with me for any sort of timeframe, you know that I truly enjoy and appreciate horror. I love monsters, creatures made by man, aliens and so much more. What I never imagined reading was a horror saga in the form of a slightly historical, backwater, slave keeping, creature from a local river sort of horror. Blackwater is my third novel by Michael McDowell. My first was Cold Moon- an excellent novel. My second was The Elementals- a seriously cool but slightly cool creepfest of a story. So the question is, did I walk away from Blackwater feeling the same way?
Blackwater is the sold body of six individual novels. It tells of the Caskey family, who live in Perdido, Alabama. Blackwater isn't one of those tellings of one
person's journey. It's a generational tale, like one of those mini-series television shows. This book is a collection of six books and it's about everyone in one family. Well, the family with extended family members and a few stragglers that come and go. I thought it was about the waters of the Perdido River in Alabama, but it's deeper than that too. The disappointing part is that this was supposed to be a horror novel series.
I don't know about you but I don't like my horror this safe. I need dangers, monsters and creepiness that makes my skin crawl. This book held none of that. What Blackwater holds is light mystery, something suepernatural that stirs maybe once every thirty chapters but nothing really monstrous. It was rather upsetting and a huge upset in that matter. When it came to storytelling and the intricacies of the Caskey family- it was great! Like War and Peace, The Color Purple and Dynasty. It was not what I thought it would be and didn't do anything that held me. The only reason I kept at the huge book was due to having paid for this one and it was too long in my collection to put away.
I really don't understand the genre placement but it's an interesting story. The best parts had to do with Eleanor and her daughter Francis when it came to being in the water. The supernatural mystery behidn them and the origin from whence they came. Other than that, this book was a darned let down. Don't get me wrong, McDowell wrote perfectly. Blackwater is a historical, multi-generational book on southern living, racism, and greed. Eventually it gets to love and peace but again... no real horror...
I'm on to the next read. Cheers!
Blackwater: The Complete Saga
Published by Valancourt Books
Released in August 1983
Running Time: 30 Hours 9 Minutes
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