Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
Terry has been reading The Bledbrooke Works by John F Leonard
I liked this story a lot—I’ve read an earlier novel and a shorter story by John F Leonard, and his writing has come on in leaps and bounds; this is a different class.
‘Back before the Domesday Book, the little spot known has Bledbrooke had started out smaller than small…During the Middle Ages, it shuddered into a village while no one was looking’
Bledbrooke is a strange town, in which electricity often fails and phone reception is almost non-existent. Donald Hobdike is the Manager of Works; on the day in which the story takes place he must go down to the old, abandoned sewage works to fix a problem. A young ex-con, Mikey, is assigned to help him. And down they go…
The characterisation of the two men was a joy to read, with astute observations about each others’ generation, and their own lives; there are some highly descriptive turns of phrase that I so appreciated. The chapters alternate been the points of view of Hobdike and Mikey—and another being; the one that lurks beneath. It was this that took it to another level for me, as the presence beneath Bledbrooke contemplates its existence over millennia, and the nature of mankind.
‘The periods of slumber grew progressively shorter as it acclimatised and located fresh supplies of food. Millennia or intertia became centuries of torpor and eventually decades of inactivitiy. With each waking, evolution had shimmied and leapt down new paths, throwing up bewilderingly brittle lifeforms that lasted a celestial instant and were gone.’
It’s darker than dark, sinister and highly readable. Worth 99p of anyone’s money, or it’s available on Kindle Unlimited, too.
THE BLEDBROOKE WORKS is a tale of everyday unpleasantness and cosmic horror. A short novella of subterranean terror seen through the eyes of an ageing engineer and a young hoodlum. One a pillar of the local community, the other an outsider who wouldn’t know communal spirit if it ran up and bit him on the bottom.