THE MAN IN THE FIELD by James Cooper

I recently read (and reviewed) the latest short story collection by British writer, James Cooper, which was published by PS Publishing last month. I found it to be an excellent book, very worthy of your time. Following hot on its heels comes this novella – The Man in the Field – from American publisher Cemetery Dance.

It’s a extended version of a story contained in the collection, specifically one that was inspired by the writing of Shirley Jackson. I was impressed with the original story and this novella nicely illustrates the differences between varying lengths of fiction. The opening chapter is essentially the version from the collection, ending with an ambiguous yet devastating climax. The rest of the novella expands on the events, filling in much of the characters and taking us off in a rather unexpected direction.

It’s difficult to say too much without giving spoilers, so all I’ll say is that the novella is a very different beast to the short story. Both work perfectly. The novella hints at much more than the story, which was a great example of folk horror. Recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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