The War

The War - Michael McDowell Blackwater is a series that just keeps getting better and better, and I enjoyed this installment of the series/long serial novel even more than its predecessors.

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Here is the Goodreads description:

Wartime in Perdido jolted the sleepy little Alabama town as new people entered the community. Outsiders would invade the comfort of the wealthy Caskeys and take their daughters.

This, though, was the part of the master plan of Elinor Caskey, who would see the fasmily flourish amidst the deatruction and death she administered in a fashion more awesome than the war itself.

Ahh, just such a great book.

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This book was a more emotional and, at the same time, happier book in the series, probably due to a main character and antagonist passing away in the last book. The dynamic that character brought to the series is, sadly, gone. I really enjoyed that character's scenes and she will be missed. Dear lord Layton, you're acting like she was a real person.

Anyway there are many things about the Blackwater series I like, in particular how nonchalant McDowell is about breaking silly taboos that were present in eighties horror fiction, and fiction in general.

There are at least two obviously homosexual characters in this book an he plays them like they were real people. One of the things I always hated about Richard Laymon is that he was an obvious homophobe. If there was going to be a gay character in his fiction they would either be extremely annoying characters who died gruesome deaths, or disgusting pedophiles.

McDowell never even suggests that and I love his writing all the more for it. The two characters who are gay are never simply stated as being such, but the reader knows they are, and at the same time appreciates them for being wonderful characters regardless, like any sensible person would. But this makes sense, since McDowell was gay himself.

I also love how men aren't in a position of power in the Caskey family, and it is clearly stated as being that way throughout, especially when an outsider describes how strange this is in circa 1945 Alabama.

There were also more supernatural elements in this books than in the previous books, and we begin to learn more as to what Elinor Caskey really is.

"Your mama crawled out of the river and she'll go back to it. She'll go back to blackwater."


And in this book Elinor becomes even more of a powerful member of the family, and she knows it.

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So, yet another terrific book from Michael McDowell. There was a reason behind Uncle Stevie proclaiming him to be the greatest writer of paperback originals in America.

5 grand stars to this splendid series.

*Layton goes to Amazon and buys next installment*