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The Man Behind The Glass Kindle Edition
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It follows the exploits of a Victorian photographer (with the memorable name Septimus Blackwood) who – true to the nature of his time period – has merged science with mysticism, hoping that photographic technology will help him connect with the Other Side. Creeping ever closer to family secrets which are buried in London’s seedy underbelly, Blackwood finds himself locked into a dangerous mission with physical and metaphysical perils at every corner. Driven to understand his past, he imperils his future, and descends ever further into a spider’s web of intrigue, hauntings, and secrecy which threatens to consume him body, soul, and mind.
Written engagingly and at an active pace, the novel brings us face to face with genuine philosophical questions of identity, life after death, fate, and free will. The story probes into the nature of individuality through supernatural metaphors in a manner that will remind readers of classic horror of the high-minded works of Dickens, Machen, Blackwood, Collins, Le Fanu, Riddell, Oliphant and Edwards. But Howe is not making a mere pastiche of the Victorian Gothic: he knowingly or unknowingly plugs into the traditions of Edwardian science fiction – Wells, Conan Doyle, Shiel, etc. – and more contemporary masters – Gaiman, Bradburry, Campbell, etc. – by blending adventure and horror into the literary tradition of the carnivalesque, where fiction intentionally holds a funhouse mirror to society, caricaturing its flaws to a purposeful effect. The result is a compelling novel filled with action and mystery, but written with a higher mission of analyzing human psychology and society and turning the camera lens on the reader.