THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy
A simple tale of love in the bleakest of times, The Road tells the story of a young boy and his father who are travelling along the titular path in a post-apocalyptic America. This novel is filled with some of the most poetic imagery I’ve ever read, and there are many haunting scenes that will stay with you forever. It was one of the few books that reduced me to tears at the end. It’s still a recent publication, but I think time will validate this novel as an important piece of literature in the future.
THE LONG LOST by Ramsey Campbell
I’d been a fan of this author for many years, although I’d only read his debut novel The Doll Who Ate His Mother, which I’d enjoyed. Nothing prepared me however, for the greatness that is The Long Lost. I won’t dwell on the plot, other than to say it has all the trademark characteristics of Ramsey’s other fiction; superb dialogue, laugh-out-loud characters, unsettling description, and disturbing imagery. There’s a plot-point towards the end of the book that left my jaw dropping. Highly recommended.
THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
This appears to be a book that definitely divides opinion. I happened to think it was great. It tells the story of a young boy in civil-war torn Barcelona, who is taken by his father to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books one day. Here he discovers a mysterious author by the name of Julian Carax. The novel is steeped in beautiful description and gothic imagery, unfolding at a brooding pace. Part historical-mystery, part dark-fantasy, this book will appeal to those with a fondness for the gothic.