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Book Review

Book Cover

The Man Who Murdered His Muse (Hardback)


Author: James Champagne
Publisher: Eibonvale Press
47 pages
RRP: £12.00
ISBN: 978 1 908125 72 9
Publication Date: 12 March 2019

The Man who Murdered his Muse (Chapbook #9 Eibonvale Press) is a fusion of '80s and '90s pop-cult memorabilia and a relatively straight forward horror tale. The Chapbook was written by James Champagne.

The story is told from a first-person perspective with Hamsa Cauldron recounting strange events that happened to her while attending school.

Having a great love of old books and little money with which to purchase them she picks up a job tending bar in a goth club. She hopes that the job will both earn her some money, but also introduce her to colourful characters she can use in her writing. She quickly realises that one lonely drunk is pretty much another until she meets Tuefel the titular man who murdered his muse.

As well as a noir style of writing, Champagne peppers his narrative with allusions to books, cartoon strip, music and so much more. These are never distracting but add a layer of richness to the story. These elements elevate the story out of its traditional horror genre.

The main character remained interesting enough for the reader to be keep reading to learn what happens and even to gain some empathy with her situation.

I particularly liked the flow of the story, what I mean is that stories of this length are quite difficult to pull off successfully. There is usually a point where you feel the author struggling, but this one flows like melted butter.

Honestly, I could find no fault with either the construction, the story idea, or the synthesis of ephemera with the main narrative. It is a little gem of a find.


Charles Packer

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