After Obscure Author Of Strange Stories, Simon Peterkin, Vanishes In Bizarre Circumstances, A Typescript, Of A Text Entitled, The Wanderer , Is Found In His Flat The Wanderer Is A Weird Document On A Dying Earth, In The Far Flung Future, A Man, An Immortal, Types The Tale Of His Aeon Long Life As Prey, As A Hunted Man He Tells Of His Quitting The Himalayas, His Sanctuary For Thousands Of Years, To Return To His Birthplace, London, To Write The Memoirs And Writes, Also, Of The Night He Learned He Was Cursed With Life Without Cease, An Evening In A Pub In That City, Early In The Twenty First Century, A Gathering To Tell Of Eldritch Experiences Undergone Is The Wanderer A Fiction, Perhaps Peterkin S Last Novel, Or Something Far Stranger Perhaps Account Than Story

10 thoughts on “The Wanderer

  1. says:

    I read this excellent volume of weird tales with the Literary Horror Group over at Goodreads during the month of April What I liked I enjoyed the premise which is basically a collection of short stories connected by a manuscript Towards the end of the book the creation of the manuscript becomes the main story, but I liked the individual stories the best These were not flat out horror stories, but they WERE horrific at times They were like tales of the weird and they put me in mind of Robert Aickman these were a little straight forward than Aickman s, but they were definitely weird What I didn t like At times it felt to me that the author was trying too hard to seem.literary Is that the word I m looking for There was a portion of the tale where all these nods were given to authors of the past, but said nods were given with only descriptions of the authors and not their names For whatever reason this irked me Is it because I didn t know who most of them were I m SURE that s part of it But it also came off to me as a bit superior I know who these authors are, and what their behaviors were like and you don t Cue the HA HA from Nelson Muntz on The Simpsons Overall though, I thought this book was impressive, especially for a first time effort I will be looking for from this author in the future, because I did enjoy his imaginative telling of this super weird tale Highly recommended

  2. says:

    he has a lot of tricky tools in his bag he dumps them all out and uses them to construct something he tries to use every single tool to see what will work it s his first time so why not there s a Lovecraft tool and that one works well really well, the best I ve seen in a while, a perfect pastiche but he seems to lose interest in that rarified tool fairly soon, like he s just playing with it for now, not really interested in building a whole thing with it that s too bad, that tool really did the trick and I wish he had used it the whole time.lots of other tricks, most of them not so effective different tools and different tricks for different stories but there s not much there there I m not sure what they are building but whatever it is, it s nothing I can really use dreamlike stories within stories are often fine constructions but there has to be an internal logic to those nightmare landscapes, they have to make the kind of sense that makes me want to keep reading, to keep playing with what has been built many of the constructions don t seem too well thought out, as if they were made just to hammer various parts together to show that it could be done, rather than to make something that actually works the most disappointing set of tools were the largest set a set of reference tools, authors and characters and books mentioned, thrown at the reader, so many in jokes and silly hints and spot the allusion, and c mon give me a break already I don t like rolling my eyes at something that is clearly coming from an artist, someone ingenious, but unfortunately that happened many times.there s another tool I liked it made an adventure story, set at the end of time a dark science fantasy I love that construction, there were some flaws but overall this one was sound well built I could live in the end, I wish this rather brilliant wordsmith would have had focus, and interest in making one solid, successful thing rather than creating a mishmash of unequal parts perhaps one day he will my advice no need to use all the tools in the toolbox just the right ones, you know SYNOPSIS at the end of time, a hunted man tells the horrific story of how he became immortal many other stories are involved.

  3. says:

    I was struck by a phrase at the beginning of the prologue tonight the sunset is violet and bile The word bile is a bit jarring, no It s not a word that comes to mind when describing sunsets This book is like that The Wanderer is violet and bile Beautiful prose relating the most terrible things.The Wanderer wants to tell you his story, but first you must hear a different story, and then, some others will tell their stories, until you can t remember where you are or what it was you were doing.A modern take on the strange tale An ode to the old masters Whatever it is The Wanderer did not disappoint There are scenes in here that I won t soon forget In fact, I want to go read it again.

  4. says:

    This book is a great read of all the things I look for in a book The pace is fast,the weird elements endless The writing style is reminiscent of authors I admire Such as Clark Ashton Smith and Tanith Lee I only hope I find other books to read this year I like as much.

  5. says:

    Originally published at Risingshadow.I recently read Timothy J Jarvis short story Nae Greeance o Bane that was published in Caledonia Dreamin edited by Hal Duncan and Chris Kelso Eibonvale Press, 2014 It made a huge impression on me, because it was excellent weird fiction When I read it, I thought to myself that this author will most likely be able to achieve great things if he continues to write weird fiction My feelings were right, because the author s debut novel, The Wanderer, is an outstanding and refreshingly different kind of a weird fiction novel.I think it s appropriate to say that every once in a while if you re lucky you ll come across a novel that will surprise you with its originality, style and unique storytelling The Wanderer is such a novel, because it s something different It pays homage to classic weird stories, but is wholly original and stays true to its roots that lie deep in old weird fiction Its story differs greatly from other debut novels and dares to venture along paths not often trodden into the realm of classic weird fiction It s a delightfully old fashioned yet modern novel that contains stories within stories.Timothy J Jarvis combines fantasy, horror and science fiction with an expert s touch and creates an intelligent and fascinating story that keeps the reader glued to the novel He exhibits signs of exceptional creativity, skill and originality in his debut novel.The Wanderer is a found manuscript tale that s indebted to classic weird fiction It s comparable to the stories written by such authors as William Hope Hodgson, M P Shiel, Robert Aickman, Shirley Jackson, H P Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Machen It s reminiscent of M P Shiel s old classic, The Purple Cloud, which is a little known and neglected gem of weird fiction.In my opinion The Wanderer has a sophisticatedly complex and layered structure, because it contains many different stories that are part of the main story This unique and interesting structure separates this novel from other similar novels, because most authors tend to avoid this kind of a structure Although the story twists and turns into many directions, the author manages to keep all the threads in his hands.The Wanderer is a story about an author of weird stories, Simon Peterkin, who vanishes under mysterious circumstances A manuscript, The Wanderer , is found in his flat It s a weird document it s an account of things that may or may not have happened to the writer of the document.The document begins with the writer returning to his birthplace, London, which lies in ruins He uses an old typewriter to write things down and begins to tell his strange story When the man s story begins to unfold, many things are revealed about him, his life and his adventures The author writes fascatingly about how the man returns to London after spending many years in the Himalayans.The story about the gathering in the pub has been written perfectly The author writes intriguingly about the man and the other persons who gather to the pub and begin to tell their eldritch stories William s story of a monster that preys on children is chilling, Jane s creepy story about her husband and children is creepy, Duncan s story about his rough childhood and s ance sessions is fascinatingly weird, and Elliot s story is brilliantly brutal and disturbing Each of these stories has been written well.Although this novel is weird fiction, parts of it can be read as a postapocalyptical and futuristic adventure novel, because the author writes about the man s adventures that take place in the far future where humankind has changed and tribal people roam the land Reading about the man, the tribeswoman and the relationship between them was fascinating for me The man and the tribeswoman fought together and tried to survive in a cruel and hostile world where only bits and pieces were left of the modern world and cities had been desolated The author wrote fluently about how food and water were scarce and what the man and woman had to do to survive.Immortality plays an important role in the story, because the man is immortal and is cursed to live forever Timothy J Jarvis writes well about the man s life and feelings about living forever and being hunted by something that means to harm him.There are a few sexual elements in this novel The author handles them well, because he writes believably about sex and lust I was amazed at how well he wrote about how sexual feelings can diminish over the years and then awaken again when conditions are favourable for sexual re awakening.The Punch and Judy show that was played in the caves beneath London was brilliantly diabolical, violent and disturbing, and will not be easily forgotten by readers because of the author s macabre descriptions I ve read plenty of stories which feature puppets, but only a few of them have been as satanic and disturbing as the puppets and the puppet show in this novel What happened in the caves and how the man fled from the caves was fascinatingly creepy and haunting.Timothy J Jarvis has an eye for uncanny and macabre details, which is great, because details are important in weird fiction novels and stories For example, the time that the man spent in the sanatorium was described in lush details In my opinion there was something Poe like in these descriptions.One of the best things about The Wanderer is that the author manages to deliver grotesque and macabre happenings to his readers at regular intervals by alternating between writing about the man s future life and past life Because different things happen to the man at different times in his life, the author maintains a nice balance by alternating between light and heavy moments.The gruesome and violent scenes are portrayed in a shocking and memorable way It s good that the author doesn t shy away from gruesome and grisly scenes, because they re an essential part of many old weird fiction stories What s best about these scenes is that the author doesn t write too much about them, but delivers shocks when necessary.The author also wrote surprisingly well about how civilization had fallen and risen again, many times over, and how Earth had changed The detailed descriptions of the ruined London were unforgettable, because there was a strong postapocalyptical and threatening feel to them I ve read quite a lot of descriptions of postapocalyptical places and I can say that Timohy J Jarvis descriptions are among the best I ve read.The characterization in this novel was good The stories that were told in the pub contained excellent characterization and descriptions of the characters lives The author created interesting characters, because he concentrated on writing about their eldritch experiences and what happened to them It was great that he didn t dwell too much on their lives.The author briefly mentions interesting things and persons in this novel For example, the mention of an Estonian composer, Arvo P rt, during a conversation between the man and his driver was interesting P rt is seldom mentioned in speculative fiction I think it s possible that only a few readers may have heard of him and his compositions.Timothy J Jarvis plays with the idea of what s real and what s not in a perfect way by keeping the reader guessing what s going on, because the man s story is so detailed that it could almost be true The story could also be just a product of Simon Peterkin s imagination and his last novel The realistic and supernatural elements are in perfect balance and the author weaves his story around them, and keeps it flowing masterfully from start to finish.I was impressed by the author s prose, because it s excellent The language and vocabulary used in this novel is partly archaic, which is nice, because it emphasizes the weird atmosphere of the story When I read this novel, I noticed that the author loves old weird fiction, especially old pre Lovecraftian weird fiction, because there s a wonderfully eldritch atmosphere in this novel that is often present in pre Lovecraftian stories The same kind of atmosphere is also present in weird fiction stories that are considered to be classic Lovecraftian stories I have to mention that the cover image looks great It fits the story perfectly and is eye catching because of old fashioned artwork I ll also mention that the endnotes and appendixes are great and emphasize the weirdness of the story.I found no flaws in this novel Normally debut authors tend to have at least a few flaws in their novels, but there are no flaws in this novel The Wanderer is perfect in every possible way, because it s a complex, descriptive and detailed novel full of old fashioned weirdness it deserves to be praised, because it s a good novel.In my honest opinion Timothy J Jarvis is a new master of weird fiction I have a strong feeling that he ll become a respected author, because he s able to write excellent and intellectually stimulating weird fiction that differs from mainstream weird fiction.I m aware that there are readers out there who don t for one reason or another read much weird fiction or tend to avoid it It s a shame that certain readers avoid reading weird fiction, because weird fiction happens to represent one of the finest and richest sub genres of speculative fiction and offers plenty of memorable, thought provoking and original reading experiences to readers I sincerely hope that quality oriented speculative fiction readers, who don t normally read weird fiction, would read this novel, because it s fascinatingly weird and requires attention from the readers than many other novels.If you love good old fashioned weird stories or if you ve ever considered yourself to be a fan of weird fiction, you must read The Wanderer This novel is essential reading material for fans of the weirder side of speculative fiction, because it s an exceptionally good and well written novel A few excellent weird fiction short story collections have been published this year, but The Wanderer is without a doubt the best weird fiction debut novel of the year, so readers of weird fiction should put it immediately to their reading list.The Wanderer is an ambitious, gorgeously weird, beautifully written and stunningly original novel In other words, it s weird fiction as it shoud be It s a literary masterpiece that beckons readers to re read it and enjoy its strange atmosphere time and time again The Wanderer is yet an undiscovered gem, but I m sure that it will be found and loved by many readers.Highly recommended

  6. says:

    Although this book will be read by the goodreads group Literary Horror in April 2015, it seemed the sort of novel that I would like, and I went ahead and read it in advance I read this novel at a good pace while reading another novel which for me is an indicator that I m liking the book.The novel has a frame structure A horror writer is missing, and among the stuff in his room is a manuscript This manuscript comprises most of the novel I would call this story a macabre picaresque The narrator is an immortal and his story is sort of a memoir, comprising of unusual and disturbing incidents There is an aspect of the tall tale to this and some in jokes that readers of weird and fantasy fiction would get There is also a measure of gruesomeness and body horror a term I see bandied about lately so be warned.

  7. says:

    4 This is a weird tale, a tale that spans thousands of years, not only jumping backward and forward in time, but also upward and downward as narrative within narrative within narrative and back again The effect, is to ensnare the reader into a tale of the battle between eternal evil and eternal hope This is a fascinating story with a nice twist toward the ending Or the ending that comes before the ending of the epilogue, and then the ending of the afterword Or whatever.

  8. says:

    This review was originally posted on my No Time is Passing blog Wanderer is the debut novel by Timothy Jarvis I read it a couple of months ago and the book s blend of Shielian last man fantasy and time twisted, oneiric horror has stayed with me ever since the last page This review is a much expanded version of a short post I felt I had to put on Facebook shortly after reaching the end of this brilliant, brilliant book.Jarvis himself has described The Wanderer s charms as Highlander meets Arthur Machen s The Three Impostors, meets M.P Shiel s The Purple Cloud With booze Even if somewhat tongue in cheek, with a write up like that, how could one resist And there is booze That part of his mini write up isn t tongue in cheek at all.Let me start by saying that I can t recommend this book enough to anyone with even a passing interest in weird fiction and fantastical literature of the last 120 years or so The Wanderer is simply superb a highly original, deeply unsettling and utterly gripping novel, the imagery of which will, I m sure, clutch at your innards for some time to come It s in part a portmanteau piece, with different character led narratives that are interconnected in quite a fiendish way and there is indeed a fiend at the heart of this novel, as grim and cruel and relentless as the psychopathic Mr Punch himself Jarvis describes himself as a writer of antic fiction, which is borne out here in large measure But the nature of this beast is not just antic, but corybantic also it s supremely literate, but also frenzied and shocking and rending in equal proportion.The novel s dark premise is difficult to summarise without giving away important plot details, so I won t do that here as it would spoil the flow of this unique book The Wanderer is a complex, layered narrative with a central theme that becomes apparent only when the reader is quite far into the story, too far in to climb back out, perhaps I will only say that once the novel s revelations are laid bare, the earlier sections of the narrative take on an altogether chilling aspect and the tension reaches a level of cloying tautness as the story hurtles towards its conclusion Herein you ll encounter a missing author of strange stories and his final manuscript, with the same title as this book, be it fiction or otherwise immortality as the cruelest jest of all a horrifying game of hunter and hunted across the millennia a dying planet an awkward camaraderie of characters that is shattered in chilling ways and much , all of which slots together ultimately like a complex puzzle As Jarvis has noted, the novel has a flavour reminiscent of Shiel s The Purple Cloud, a book I love for its grandiloquent strangeness and singularity, although I know it doesn t find favour with everyone, but this novel goes beyond anything Shiel attempted.The horror of The Wanderer is visceral in places, too and I use that word both figuratively and literally so fevered is the author s imagination yet that only helps to cement the strangeness of the narrative as it jumps to the far distant future and back with casual disdain for standard frames of temporal reference.This is an intelligent, ludic work, beautifully articulate and poetic, with respectful yet impish reverence given to the best writers of strange stories over the last few decades It s also surprisingly and delightfully grim in all the right ways I wouldn t say it s Aickmanesque per se but I got from it some of the grotesque otherness of Aickman s finest, most genre defying pieces.The Wanderer has been my novel of the year so far, and there s only a few weeks left of this one so I can t see it being bettered in fact, I haven t read as cohesive and compelling a weird fiction novel in a very long time The fact that it is a debut makes it all the revelatory and I cannot recommend this book enough Even with the teetering pile s of titles on my to read list, I sense that I ll be revisiting this one very soon to see what I may have missed along the way the first time.

  9. says:

    Do you like ichor Do you like ichor as a word Because The Wanderer is a book where a word like ichor feels right at home The vocabulary is extensive and the description is remarkable The prose is described as poetic in that one place, and it s easy to see where that comes from.Do you like ichor as a substance The description is concerned with things often visceral, often gory, often downright repulsive Horrible things are happening in The Wanderer And they keep happening Do you like ichor as a signifier of horror A signpost telling you that this book you hold in your hands is a horror novel If the description and the viscera and the gore don t give it away, Jarvis loves what horror can be The structure of the book is very aware of itself A manuscript that describes something eldritch is found in the apartment of a recently disappeared author Before you know even that, the first words of the book are an excerpt from that author s story What is it An old manuscript Much of it is hard to make out, but Mr Leatherbotham cut in What That worn out old Gothic trope He rolled his eyes.The whole book careens along through the various stories that come from chance meetings with strangers another self aware nod to weird tales and horror stories while updating the main plot It only perhaps loses steam once or twice but quickly finds its footing.I enjoyed it very much, for all the ichor in every sense.

  10. says:

    The Wanderer blends fantasy, horror and science fiction and creates an intelligent and fascinating story I found it difficult to put down, even though some scenes made me so uncomfortable I wanted to at times The horror in the novel builds, creeping in at the edges, until all at once the reader is confronted with horrific scenes, described with just enough left out that your mind easily fills in the rest Rarely have I felt genuinely unnerved by a work of fiction The plot balances these macabre and horrifying moments with lighter scenes, so the reader never feels overwhelmed In fact, the balance serves to lull the reader into a false sense of safety, before the next horror is revealed This has the effect that the novel itself paces well, gradually leading the reader into this world a piece at a time It reminded me in some way of the found manuscript trope often used by authors of weird fiction I think I ll never be able to look at a Punch Judy show in the same way again after reading this If you enjoy Poe, Lovecraft and King, the Wanderer is right up your street A great effort for a first novel.